• Kyodo

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U.S. Congressman Henry Hyde on Tuesday promised the families of Japanese abducted by North Korea that he would step up efforts to help them, including preparing a resolution urging the North to quickly solve the matter.

The Republican from Illinois is chairman of the House International Relations Committee.

He made the promise during a meeting with Teruaki Masumoto, secretary general of the Association of the Families of Victims Kidnapped by North Korea, Masumoto said during his visit to Washington.

A committee staff official confirmed that Hyde is preparing the resolution.

“These abductions represent a horrendous human rights violation,” Hyde said in his welcoming remarks. “The U.S. Congress sought to address our grave concern over these and the many other North Korean human rights abuses in the North Korean Human Rights Act, which was passed unanimously last year.”

Hyde took the lead in passing the law to ban assistance, except for humanitarian aid, to North Korea unless the country improves its human rights record.

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