“We will bring the abductees home” – An Exclusive Interview with Prime Minister Abe

March 2017 marks twenty years since the families of Japanese citizens abducted by North Korea formed a group to represent their concerns. On the eve of this anniversary, Prime Minister Shinzo Abe sat down for an exclusive interview with Yukan Fuji—the Sankei Shimbun’s evening newspaper—in which he said that solving the abduction issue, a stark […]

Reopening the Abduction Case Files – Part Five: “Something strange is happening along the Sea of Japan”

This article originally appeared in the Sankei Shimbun morning edition, September 4, 2012.    A suspected case of an abduction carried out by North Korea was confirmed as fact at a summit between the leaders of Japan and North Korea in 2002. Sankei Shimbun had already reported the case 23 years earlier.   On January […]

Reopening the Abduction Case Files – Part Four: “Maybe our child is alive too…”

This article originally appeared in the Sankei Shimbun morning edition, September 3, 2012. All ages and dates are counted from that date.   At a Japan-North Korea summit, then-Supreme Leader Kim Jong-Il admitted to abducting Japanese people and asserted that five abductees were still alive. Of those, the Japanese side had been unsuccessfully tracking the […]

Editorial: Time for the United States and Japan to Cooperate on the Abduction Issue

North Korea chose the moment of the U.S.-Japan summit meeting to launch intermediate-range ballistic missiles into the Sea of Japan, and soon after assassinated Kim Jong-nam, the elder half-brother of Korean Workers’ Party chairman Kim Jong-un. Both instances are grim reminders of the violent and unpredictable nature of the government across the Sea of Japan. […]

Reopening the Abduction Case Files – Part Three: Whose Bones?

This article originally appeared in the Sankei Shimbun morning edition, September 2, 2012. All ages and dates are counted from that date.   In 2004, North Korea handed over what it claimed were the remains of Megumi Yokota. By that time, nearly two years had passed since then-Supreme Leader Kim Jong-Il had admitted that Megumi […]

Reopening the Abduction Case Files – Part Two: How North Korea Used Megumi as a Bargaining Tool

This article originally appeared in the Sankei Shimbun morning edition, September 1, 2012. All ages and dates are counted from that date.   Megumi Yokota, who was abducted by North Korean agents as she was coming home after middle school badminton practice, is representative of North Korea’s abduction victims. If her case is brought to […]

The Families of the Abducted: An Ultimatum and an Idea

The Association of the Families of Victims Kidnapped by North Korea and the National Association for the Rescue of Japanese Kidnapped by North Korea held a joint meeting in Tokyo on February 19. At the meeting they adopted a new policy for their movement, calling for the government to prioritize the situation of Japanese abductees […]

Reopening the Abduction Case Files – Part One: Why Did North Korea Lie about Megumi’s Death?

This article originally appeared in the Sankei Shimbun morning edition, August 31, 2012. All ages and dates are counted from that date.   “I regret to inform you…”   That was how then-Deputy Foreign Affairs Minister Shigeo Uemura began while speaking to Yokota Megumi’s father, Shigeru (79) and mother, Sakie (76), in a room at […]

U.S. Japan Cooperation Expected on Passage of Congressional Resolution on David Sneddon Disappearance

The U.S. House of Representatives passed a resolution at the end of September directing the U.S. government to investigate the disappearance of a young American who is suspected to be a victim of North Korean abduction. This Congressional action is expected to lead to a new vigorous inquiry into Pyongyang’s criminal abduction of foreigners and […]

Seeking a resolution through information influx into North Korea-The battle of the Shiokaze radio broadcasts

“We aim for the liberation of all abductees, and of all North Korean citizens suffering under a dictatorial regime.” There is a radio broadcast known as Shiokaze, or sea breeze. Shiokaze’s target listeners are abductees in North Korea, as well as average North Korean citizens. In North Korea, information from outside the country is restricted […]

International pressure is the name of the “weapon” they seek…Why do the families of Japanese victims of North Korean abduction go overseas?

On May 5th, 2015, a symposium hosted by the Japanese government was held at a hotel not far from the United Nations headquarters in New York. At the symposium, a Japanese man presented a speech to an audience that included members of the UN and various world governments. Virtually all of the international community was […]

Escaped N. Korean restaurant workers arrive in South

SEOUL, South Korea (AP) ― A group of North Koreans who escaped from a Pyongyang-run restaurant overseas where they had been working have arrived in South Korea, the South’s government said Wednesday.South Korea’s Unification Ministry, which deals with matters related to the North, provided no other details. Earlier in the day, South Korea’s Yonhap news […]