A Japanese government-sponsored symposium was held in Tokyo to discuss international cooperation on resolving the North Korean abduction issue.
Fred Warmbier, father of former US college student Otto Warmbier, who died after being detained by North Korea for more than a year, took part in the event.
Warmbier said his family members are paralyzed with fear, because the North takes hostages, tortures and executes people.
He said he sympathizes with the abductees' relatives and wants to help.
Shigeo Iizuka, who heads the group of abductees' relatives, said their biggest wish is for their loved ones to return to their parents and siblings. Iizuka's sister Yaeko Taguchi was abducted by North Korean agents 40 years ago.
He said the abductees are still suffering after 40 years, and that they need to be rescued soon, calling on the government to take action to bring them home as soon as possible.
Takuya Yokota, whose sister Megumi was abducted, said he would like North Korean leader Kim Jong Un to make a courageous decision to send the abductees home.
He said the abductees' relatives share the deep sorrow of Warmbier's family.
Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga, who doubles as Abduction Issue Minister, said he is deeply sorry that not one abductee has returned home since 5 came back in 2002.
He said he has no words to express his feelings about the sufferings of the abductees and their relatives for so many years.
Suga said he is determined to take advantage of every opportunity to bring all the abductees home as soon as possible.