Mother Empty with No Progress 45 Years after Abduction of Daughter


Kawasaki, Kanagawa Pref., Nov. 15 (Jiji Press)--With Tuesday marking 45 years since 13-year-old Megumi Yokota was abducted by North Korea, her mother, now 86, has expressed her feelings of indescribable emptiness over the lack of progress in bringing her daughter home.

"I cannot put into words how empty I feel," the mother, Sakie Yokota, told reporters in the city of Kawasaki, Kanagawa Prefecture, south of Tokyo, where her home is now located.

On Nov. 15, 1977, Megumi went missing while on her way home from her junior high school in the central Japan city of Niigata, where the family's home was at the time. There had been no clues to the whereabouts of the Japanese girl until 1997, when the possibility arose that she was abducted by North Korea.

Remembering those days, the mother said that she tried to put on a brave face in front of her twin sons, Takuya and Tetsuya, now 54, younger brothers of Megumi, but that she bawled her eyes out when she was alone.

As she felt that she urgently needed to be preoccupied with something else, Sakie took up painting, spending some time taking lessons at an art studio. Sometimes, Sakie painted pictures on the motif of Megumi while crying. "Art saved me and helped me live until now," she said.

[Copyright The Jiji Press, Ltd.]

Jiji Press