Mother of Japanese Abductee Keiko Arimoto Dies at 94


Tokyo, Feb. 6 (Jiji Press)--Kayoko Arimoto, mother of Keiko Arimoto, a Japanese woman abducted to North Korea nearly 40 years ago, died of heart failure at a hospital in Hyogo Prefecture, western Japan, at the age of 94 on Monday.

A group in Hyogo working to bring Japanese abductees back from the reclusive country announced this on Thursday.

In 1983, when she was studying in London, Keiko, then 23, went missing in Europe after sending a letter to her family from Copenhagen. In 1988, Toru Ishioka, another Japanese abductee, mailed a letter to Japan saying that Keiko was in North Korea.

Arimoto and her husband, Akihiro, 91, visited the Japanese Foreign Ministry, the police and lawmakers' offices many times, asking them to confirm the whereabouts of their daughter.

The government in 2002 added Keiko to its list of Japanese nationals abducted by North Korea, concluding that Japanese terrorists who hijacked Japan Airlines flight "Yodo" in 1970 were involved in the kidnapping of the woman from Europe to North Korea, based on testimony from a former wife of one of the terrorists.

[Copyright The Jiji Press, Ltd.]

Jiji Press