Rally in Tokyo Seeks Early Return of Abductees from N. Korea


Tokyo, May 30 (Jiji Press)--Participants in a mass rally in Tokyo on Sunday called for realizing the early return of Japanese nationals abducted by North Korea decades ago, stressing that time is running out amid the aging of the victims' families.

"We want the abductees to be able to reunite with their families in Japan while their waiting parents are still doing well," Takuya Yokota, 53-year-old head of a group of abductee families and a younger brother of Megumi, who was kidnapped by North Korean agents in 1977 at the age of 13, said at the rally.

Referring to the spread of the novel coronavirus in North Korea, Takuya said the country is preoccupied with the development of nuclear weapons and the launches of ballistic missiles without starting to improve the medical environment there, forcing its nationals and abduction victims to suffer even more pain.

"We are truly sorry that so many abduction victims are still left behind in North Korea," Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida said at the rally, attended by some 800 people, including the families of the abductees, their supporters and members of the Diet, Japan's parliament.

"The abduction issue is one of most important challenges for the Kishida cabinet," he said.

[Copyright The Jiji Press, Ltd.]

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