• Kyodo


Kaoru and Yukiko Hasuike, back in Japan after being abducted to North Korea more than 20 years ago, were offered jobs Sunday with a city government in Niigata Prefecture, it was learned Sunday.

The Kashiwazaki city government will employ the couple as temporary workers from April, Mayor Masazumi Saikawa said.

The mayor made the remark after visiting the couple in the city on the Sea of Japan coast.

“I have a feeling that they are looking forward to engaging in work,” Saikawa said, adding that it is a temporary measure until the fate of their two children, who remain in North Korea, is determined.

Kashiwazaki city officials said the Hasuikes will receive training from mid-February before starting work.

The city plans to decide on an assignment for Kaoru, 45, city officials said. Yukiko, 46, has expressed interest in working at a kindergarten or welfare facility.

The mayor also said the Niigata Institute of Technology in Kashiwazaki has offered a lecturing position to Kaoru.

The two are among five Japanese nationals who were repatriated last October after being abducted to North Korea in 1978.

The mayor offered the jobs to the couple to help them resettle in Japan permanently.

Kaoru and Yukiko, whose maiden name is Okudo, were abducted from Kashiwazaki by North Korean agents in July 1978. They lived in North Korea until returning to Japan on Oct. 15.

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