41 Years Since Megumi Yokota's Abduction


41 years since Megumi Yokota's abduction

The mother of high-profile abductee Megumi Yokota has called on the Japanese government to take steps that will lead to return of all those kidnapped. Thursday is the 41st year to the day since her abduction to North Korea.

NHK has interviewed Sakie Yokota in this connection.

Megumi was abducted in Niigata City, on the Sea of Japan coast, on November 15th in 1977. She was 13 and on her way home from school.

Sakie says she cannot imagine what it is like to be thrown into the dark without any knowledge, being forced to live in line with a system while gripped with morbid fear of being killed at any time.

She says she is most worried about the kind of life her daughter is leading now, but she hopes she is in good health.

Prospects for a resolution of the abduction issue remain uncertain as the United States and North Korea remain at odds over the North's denuclearization.

Sakie said she had expectations and hopes of progress, but so many problems have arisen, sending the world into a whirlpool. She says she doesn't know what the future will bring, and is aghast at thinking about the turn of events in Megumi's life.

The 82-year-old spoke about her husband Shigeru, who remains in hospital, and turned 86 on Wednesday.

She said her husband is always smiling in bed, saying he will fight the odds until Megumi returns.

Sakie said the days of the parents of Japanese abductees are numbered, and they must be reunited with their children soon.

But that said, she noted North Korea will be watching whether they act in haste.

She called on the government to create a situation that will bring the abductees back, and to convey its demand to Pyongyang.