Three times a day, 88-year-old Kayoko Arimoto makes a ritual offering of food to the daughter she hasn't seen for 31 years. On her birthday, it's rice with red beans followed by cake.
Keiko hasn't taken her place at the family table since being lured to North Korea in 1983 while studying English in London, becoming one of an uncertain number of victims of a North Korean kidnapping program. Prime Minister Shinzo Abe's drive to bring home the remaining abductees stalled last week when North Korea said an initial report expected this month wouldn't be released and final findings may take a year.
"I can't believe it's going to take them a year to provide evidence," Keiko's father, Akihiro, 86, said in a phone interview Saturday after abductee minister Eriko Yamatani met with the families to tell them of the delay the previous day in Tokyo.