Nikkei, Sankei, and Yomiuri reported that Tokyo-based U.S. diplomat Booyeon Lee visited Kashiwazaki City, Niigata, on Thursday to survey the site where a local couple was kidnapped by North Korean agents decades ago. The U.S. Embassy political officer reportedly met with the repatriated victims, the Hasuikes, afterward and told them: “Four years have passed since I was involved in the abduction issue at the Embassy. This trip has helped to deepen my understanding of the matter. As the U.S. government considers the issue to be very important, we would like to continue coordinating with the Japanese government to resolve it.” Hasuike Kaoru told the press after the meeting that he sensed that the United States is serious about supporting Japan’s efforts to bring back the abductees. Today the U.S. official plans to visit the site in Niigata City where Yokota Megumi was kidnapped by the DPRK. NHK aired a similar story on Thursday evening.