Yasushi and Fukie Chimura, who were abducted to North Korea 25 years ago and repatriated last October, said Sunday that North Korea appears to have told their daughter in the reclusive state that her parents are being detained in Japan.
In a letter received Saturday, the 21-year-old wrote that she has been told that her parents were detained while visiting Japan, the Chimuras, both 48, told a news conference in Obama, Fukui Prefecture.
The daughter was left behind in North Korea with her two brothers when her parents came to Japan on what was supposed to be a short trip. She did not say whether she was told the reason for the detention or that her mother and father are Japanese, they said. She was born in North Korea after her parents were abducted in 1978.
Meanwhile, the daughter of Kaoru and Yukiko Hasuike and the eldest daughter of Hitomi Soga, others repatriated in October, wrote asking their parents to return to North Korea soon, the former abductees separately told reporters.
The three letters are the first the five have received from relatives in North Korea since their repatriation, which followed an admission in September 2002 by North Korean leader Kim Jong Il that Pyongyang had kidnapped Japanese in the past.
The five, all taken from Japan in 1978, demanded that Pyongyang allow their children, who were born in North Korea, to come to Japan as soon as possible.
The Hasuikes told reporters at their home in Kashiwazaki, Niigata Prefecture, that they are angry that North Korean officials have made their daughter, 21, ask them to return to North Korea instead of allowing her to come to Japan.
“I got the impression she was told by the North Koreans to write this. It’s a shame, and I’m furious,” said Kaoru, 45. “I can’t help but think that our parent-child relationship is being exploited.”
Yukiko, 47, also said she thinks their children are being used by Pyongyang. The letters come as North Korea has agreed to participate in six-country talks on its nuclear weapons development program.
The Hasuikes said they have also received eight photos of their daughter and son.
Soga, 44, said in the town of Mano, Niigata Prefecture, that she was filled with emotion when she read that her 20-year-old daughter wrote that she wants to see her as soon as possible. She added that her daughter’s smile in a photo she received looks forced.
The letters and some 20 photos were delivered to the five via the Japanese government by a Japanese humanitarian aid group operating in North Korea. The head of the group, Hiroyuki Kosaka, said he met six of the children Monday in Pyongyang under an arrangement by a senior North Korean official.
Kosaka has said the children he met are the daughter and son of the Hasuikes, the Chimuras’ daughter and one of their two sons, and the two daughters of Soga.
The Chimuras’ younger son and Soga’s American husband Charles Robert Jenkins, 63, who is listed as a deserter by the U.S. military, are also still in North Korea.