All national dailies ran reports in their Wednesday evening and Thursday morning editions on the reactions of the families of Japanese nationals abducted by North Korea to President Trump’s statement to Prime Minister Abe on Tuesday at Mar-a-Lago that he will raise the abductions at his planned summit with Kim Jong Un. Sakie Yokota, the mother of Megumi Yokota, expressed her gratitude for the remarks by the President and said that she believes that their wishes to bring their loved ones home were conveyed to the President.
Shigeo Iizuka, the head of a group representing abductees’ families whose sister Yaeko Taguchi is believed to have been abducted by North Korea in 1978 at 22, said: “President Trump understands the abduction issue. I believe that he is determined to resolve the issue. I hope the President will make use of this opportunity. I hope he will obtain a firm commitment from North Korea that it will return the victims to Japan.” Yomiuri wrote that Iizuka also said that Ambassador Hagerty told the families on April 10 that the President feels that something must be done about the abduction issue.
Kenichi Ichikawa, the brother of an abductee, said: “I’ve been suffering for the past 40 years. This is the chance of a lifetime. I’m hoping that progress will be made at the upcoming U.S.-DPRK summit.”