• Kyodo


Some of the Japanese kidnapped by North Korea expressed regret Sunday over the lack of substantial progress on the abduction issue during multilateral talks on Pyongyang’s nuclear ambitions.

They urged the government to make further efforts to resolve the issue.

Japan and North Korea held bilateral talks on the sidelines of the six-party talks in Beijing that ended Saturday.

“We are disappointed at the lack of progress concerning the abduction issue in the six-nation talks, although the result was much anticipated,” said Kaoru Hasuike, 46, one of the five Japanese abducted by North Korea in 1978 and repatriated in 2002.

“As we hear that bilateral talks between Japan and North Korea were held every day on the fringes of the six-nation talks, we would like to ask the Japanese government to use the dialogue to bring about the next round of talks and to make further efforts for progress as soon as possible.”

Another of the returnees, Hitomi Soga, 44, said in her statement: “I was very glad that the bilateral talks between Japan and North Korea were held. But I am disappointed that there were no substantial progress.

“I sincerely hope that (the Japanese government) will understand the feelings of the families (of the abductees) and will make further efforts for a solution to be made at the earliest possible time,” she said.

Hasuike, his 47-year-old wife, Yukiko, Soga and two other abductees — Yasushi Chimura and his wife, Fukie, both 48 — returned to Japan in October 2002. Their children and Soga’s American husband are still in North Korea.

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