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Abductees’ kin urge govt. not to back down

Relatives of Japanese citizens abducted by North Korea have urged the government not to soften its stance and to keep working to bring all the victims back.


The family members met reporters at Narita Airport on Sunday upon their return from New York.


They took part in a symposium on North Korea’s human rights violations at the UN headquarters on Friday to request help for a resolution of the issue.


Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga was also visiting the US and joined them at the symposium.


Takuya Yokota said their visit was meaningful as they were able to express their suffering.


Yokota, whose sister Megumi was abducted when she was a teenager, also said it was a big step forward that they were able to join hands with the UN on North Korea’s human rights issues.


He added that Japan will one day have direct contact with North Korea, and he hopes the government will keep negotiating and not water down its demands until all the abductees can return home.


Koichiro Iizuka, whose mother Yaeko Taguchi was taken to North Korea when he was a toddler, said returning all the abductees will be essential for Pyongyang to build a new future.


Iizuka expressed hope that North Korea will make a courageous decision.

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