The press conference in FCCJ


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Press conference at FCCJ

Shigeru Yokota & Sakie Yokota - Parents of Megumi Yokota, North Korean Abductee

Monday, March 24, 2014, 12:30 - 14:00
Shigeru Yokota & Sakie Yokota
Parents of Megumi Yokota, North Korean Abductee





"It was like a miracle come true," said the Yokotas about their meeting in Mongolia with the granddaughter they never knew, nearly 40 years after the 1977 kidnapping by North Korean agents of their 13-year-old daughter Megumi.

The Yokotas are the poster family of Japan's struggle to set the record straight with Pyongyang over the abduction by North Korean agents of 13 Japanese citizens during the 1970s and 80s, mainly for the purpose of training spies in Japanese language and culture.

The kidnapping was acknowledged over a decade ago by North Korea to then-prime minister Junichiro Koizumi, Prime Minister Shinzo Abe's political mentor. Now Abe is determined to make progress in resolving the issue of the abductees, some of whom - like Megumi Yokota - North Korea has insisted have died but Japan believes are still alive.

Was there a political angle to the suddenly arranged meeting with the granddaughter, long-sought by the Yokotas but stalled because of the lack of information over the fate of Megumi? Is this a step in the right direction in holding North Korea accountable for explaining the fate of the abductees, or a cunning ploy by North Korea to dangle a placebo to the grieving and ageing families?

Come and hear from the Yokotas, now 81 and 78, about their "miracle" 5-day trip to Mongolia to meet their granddaughter Eun-gyong, and what impact it may have on the abductee situation.

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