• Kyodo


A woman whose daughter was abducted by North Korean agents in 1977 at the age of 13 has called on the Japanese government for greater urgency over bringing her home.

Sakie Yokota was speaking Wednesday, a day before her 80th birthday.

“We have done everything we could as family members and the rest can be done only by the government,” Yokota said, referring to her missing daughter, Megumi.

She said she and other relatives of individuals abducted in the 1970s and 1980s are “exhausted” from waiting for a solution.

North Korea launched a reinvestigation into its abductions in 2014 but has stalled on releasing a promised report listing its findings.

Pyongyang conducted a widely condemned nuclear test in January that has made the matter’s prompt resolution now look unlikely.

“North Korea has been repeating the same things over and over,” said Sakie, expressing frustration over the lack of progress in talks between Tokyo and Pyongyang. “I hope this year will be the year to resolve the issue.”

Sakie and her husband Shigeru, 83, have tirelessly been campaigning for their daughter’s return but have recently turned to video messages rather than appearing in person at gatherings.

Sakie expressed her hope that Japanese lawmakers will knuckle down on the matter — as they would if they, themselves, had lost children.

“I just want to get a glimpse of her (Megumi) and free her. That’s all I want,” she said. “I’m wondering how I can convey this feeling to North Korea.”

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