Families of Japanese Abductees Meet with U.S. Officials, Urging Swift Resolution

Families of Japanese abductees by North Korea decades ago met with U.S. officials, urging resolution as aging parents hope to reunite with their loved ones before it's too late.

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Muhammad Jawad
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Families of Japanese Abductees Meet with U.S. Officials, Urging Swift Resolution

Families of Japanese Abductees Meet with U.S. Officials, Urging Swift Resolution

Families of Japanese nationals abducted by North Korea decades ago met with U.S. officials in Washington, D.C., to discuss the urgent need for a resolution to the long-standing issue. The representatives, including Takuya Yokota, whose sister Megumi was abducted at the age of 13, conveyed a sense of urgency due to the aging of the abductees' parents.

During the meetings with U.S. Assistant Secretary of State Daniel Kritenbrink and Senator Bill Hagerty, the families showed photos of the elderly parents, expressing a strong desire to reunite them with their children before they pass away. Japan maintains that North Korea abducted at least 17 Japanese citizens, with 12 still missing, including teenage students and others living along Japan's coasts.

The head of the abductee family group, Takuya Yokota, stated that the U.S. side did not oppose the group's bargaining policy of lifting Japan's sanctions against North Korea if the country returns all the abducted Japanese nationals. Yokota met with key U.S. figures to seek their understanding of the group's compromise resolution to secure the early return of the abduction victims.

Why this matters: The abduction of Japanese citizens by North Korea has been a long-standing issue, causing immense pain and suffering for the families involved. The aging of the abductees' parents adds a sense of urgency to the matter, as they hope to be reunited with their loved ones before it is too late.

Yokota also mentioned Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida's efforts for a summit with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un, saying they want to "cherish the signs of dialogue" while demanding that Tokyo carry out "strong diplomatic negotiations behind closed doors" to resolve the issue. The U.S. has pledged its support, with Ambassador Linda Thomas-Greenfield expressing the U.S. commitment to stand with Japan until all the abductees are returned home.

Key Takeaways

  • Families of Japanese abductees met U.S. officials to discuss urgent resolution.
  • Abductees' aging parents want to reunite with their children before passing away.
  • Japan maintains 17 citizens were abducted, with 12 still missing, including students.
  • Families seek U.S. support for compromise resolution to secure abductees' return.
  • U.S. pledges support until all abductees are returned, as Japan pursues dialogue.