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Families of abductees talk about their meeting with President Trump

Takuya Yokota, the brother of Japanese abductee Megumi Yokota, and Koichiro Iizuka, the son of abductee Yaeko Taguchi, appeared live on NHK’s “Ohayo Nippon” this morning and talked about their 30-minute meeting with President Trump on Monday. Iizuka said that President Trump shook hands with everyone and listened carefully to the stories of the abductees. Yokota explained that the President was holding a photo of the Yokota family in his hand throughout the meeting. Iizuka added that the President told them that he will make all-out efforts to resolve the issue together with Prime Minister Abe. Yokota said many of the abductees, including his father, are becoming old and weak, and some have already passed away, stressing that they are in a race against time.

 

The network highlighted the President’s remarks during the joint press conference with PM Abe, in which he said: “If Kim Jong Un would send the abductees back, it would be a tremendous signal. I think that would be a start of something very special” According to the network, this could be interpreted to mean that the President is making the return of the abductees one of the conditions for dialogue. Iizuka said that he thinks that in a way, the President gave Japan permission to go ahead and resolve the abduction issue separately from the issue of North Korea’s nuclear and missile programs. Yokota stressed that the most important thing is for the GOJ to realize that it must take the initiative to resolve the issue, and expressed hope that the GOJ will take concrete steps to prevent their meeting with President Trump from being simply an event. Lastly, Iizuka said the definition of a “resolution” of the issue is the return of the abductees, no more and no less, stressing that Kim Jong Un should understand that returning the abductees would be beneficial to his country and that only he can make that decision.

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