• Kyodo


Kaoru Hasuike, one of the five known surviving Japanese abductees who returned home in October after being kidnapped to North Korea 24 years ago, said he was ordered by North Korean authorities before his homecoming to urge relatives in Japan to join him in Pyongyang, his brother said.

In a video message recorded by a Japanese government mission to Pyongyang, Hasuike said he wanted his parents to visit him in the North Korean capital.

The message was recorded prior to his Oct. 15 homecoming.

Hasuike’s brother, Toru, told a public gathering in Kashiwazaki, Niigata Prefecture, on Sunday that Hasuike revealed to him the day before that his remarks to the government mission were based on orders by North Korean authorities.

A Japanese government fact-finding mission took the videos of Hasuike and the four other abductees at a Pyongyang hotel when they visited the North Korean capital from late September to early October to find out more about the abduction cases.

At the Sunday gathering, Toru Hasuike said his brother did not give concrete details about who gave the instructions and when. “I guess he was forced to say what he said at the time,” he told the audience.

Toru Hasuike told the gathering that Japan must not provide assistance to North Korea until the abductions are resolved, adding that to do so “would be shelving the issue.”

North Korean leader Kim Jong Il told Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi in mid-September at their historic summit that Pyongyang’s agents had abducted 13 Japanese to the country in the late 1970s and early 1980s, and that only five remained alive.

Kaoru Hasuike, 45, and his wife, Yukiko, 46, who are both from Kashiwazaki, arrived in Tokyo on Oct. 15 with the three other surviving Japanese abductees — their first time home since being spirited away to North Korea in three separate abductions 24 years earlier. Pyongyang, however, would not let their North Korean-born offspring or the American husband of one of the abductees accompany the five to Japan.

North Korea told Japan that eight other Japanese abductees had died in that country. But the Japanese government and relatives of the eight doubt North Korea’s accounts of their deaths, with some clinging to the belief that the abductees may be still alive.

Several other missing Japanese who disappeared under mysterious circumstances are also believed to have been abducted to North Korea. Their fate remains unknown.

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