• Kyodo


Charles Robert Jenkins, the American husband of repatriated abductee Hitomi Soga, is suffering from the postoperative effects of abdominal surgery carried out in North Korea in April, as well as illness in some internal organs, a Japanese official said Wednesday.

The official, Hiroshi Oguma, refrained from disclosing the specifics of Jenkins’ condition for reasons of privacy.

He added, however, that his situation is not life-threatening.

Oguma said his comments on the condition of Jenkins, 64, were based on the results of a medical checkup carried out Tuesday at a hospital in a Jakarta suburb, as well as other medical diagnoses conducted on him.

While part of the checkup results have been disclosed, the full results are expected to be made known later this week, according to Oguma, head of an office working on behalf of abductees and their families.

“As soon as the results are known, we will consider a necessary response after confirming his wishes” regarding further treatment, Oguma said.

Jenkins has said he is still afraid that, once in Japan, he may be handed over to the United States for court-martial because he is listed as a U.S. Army deserter.

Japan has asked Jenkins to come to Japan for medical treatment, and if he agrees, it would like to bring him here as early as next week, government sources said.

In Washington, State Department spokesman Richard Boucher reiterated Tuesday that there is no change in its decision to take Jenkins into custody at the first possible opportunity.

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