20 Years after Return Home, Ex-Abductee Vows to Continue Speaking Out


Sado, Niigata Pref., Oct. 17 (Jiji Press)--Former Japanese abductee to North Korea Hitomi Soga on Monday pledged to continue to seek the resolution of the issue of Japanese nationals kidnapped to the reclusive country, 20 years after she and some other victims returned to Japan.

"It's my mission to continue to speak out and make an appeal as much as I can," Soga told a press conference in the city of Sado, Niigata Prefecture, central Japan. "I want to communicate my agony, loneliness and mortification as much as possible."

Soga, 63, and her mother, Miyoshi, then 46, were kidnapped together on Aug. 12, 1978, on their way home from shopping on the island of Sado. Soga returned to Japan with four other victims--Yasushi Chimura and his wife, Fukie, and Kaoru Hasuike and his wife, Yukiko--on Oct. 15, 2002, about a month after a historic Japan-North Korea summit. But the whereabouts of Soga's mother remain unknown.

"My mother, the most important person for me, is not with me. It's so painful that I have been unable to see my mother," Soga said, adding that she is leaving her mother's room as it was so that she could come back anytime.

Soga also regretted the death of her husband, Charles Jenkins, in 2017, saying that she wanted to spend more time with him in Japan. Jenkins, a former U.S. serviceman, married Soga in North Korea in 1980. He and his two daughters left North Korea in July 2004 and reunited with Soga.

[Copyright The Jiji Press, Ltd.]

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