Kin of abductees head to U.S.


The families of some Japanese victims of abduction by North Korea departed Sunday for Washington, where they will meet with U.S. Congress members involved in North Korea policymaking.

Shigeo Iizuka, head of the Association of the Families of Victims Kidnapped by North Korea, said before departing from Narita airport, east of Tokyo, “We want to gain the United States’ cooperation in areas that are difficult for Japan to resolve alone.”

Iizuka and seven others, including lawmakers from the ruling Democratic Party of Japan and the main opposition Liberal Democratic Party, are scheduled to stay in the United States for a week, during which they will be joined by Takeo Hiranuma, head of the Sunrise Party of Japan.

Noting that American David Sneddon was possibly abducted from China in 2004, Iizuka, whose younger sister Yaeko Taguchi was abducted to North Korea at age 22 in 1978, said he hopes to spread word about the abduction issue to the U.S. public and congressional members.