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Sources: Japanese abductee’s daughter to visit Japan

Posted July. 01, 2014 06:54,   


Pyongyang and Tokyo have reportedly agreed to Kim Eun-kyung`s visit to Japan in November this year. Kim is the daughter of Megumi Yokota, a poster child of Japanese abducted by North Korea.

“According to sources from both Japan and North Korea, Pyongyang and Tokyo agreed this when Yokota’s parents met their granddaughter Eun-kyung in Mongolia from March 10 through 14 this year,” said Choi Sung-yong, who represents an organization of families of abductees, on Monday. “However, Pyongyang insists that Eun-kyung visit both countries freely while Tokyo wants her to return to Japan forever.” Choi helped Kim Young-nam, a South Korean kidnapped by the North and married to Yokota, and Eun-kyung meet Yokota’s parents in 2006. Kim has contacted Yokota’s family.

Yokota, who was abducted by the North in 1977 at age 13, is the poster child of Japanese victims abducted by the North. Former Japanese Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi visited North Korea to address the abduction issue in 2002, but Kim Jong Il, late North Korean leader, claimed that eight abductees including Yokota were dead. The Japanese people got furious at Pyongyang`s sending of Yokota’s some ashes to Japan in 2004, which was found to be a different person’s DNA. But the families of Japanese abducted by the North still claim, “Unless Yokota is included in the list of returnees, the agreement between North Korea and Japan will be nullified.”

Some say that if Eun-kyung visits Japan, criticism will grow over the Abe administration in that it could be taken as the acceptance of Yokota’s death and a compromise with Pyongyang. However, others say that the Japanese public would accept Yokota’s death if four Japanese abductees return to Japan out of 17 abductees, except for five individuals who returned to Japan and eight people who North Korea claims are dead. This indicates that the Abe administration is bracing for many possible cases. An official of the Korean Foreign Ministry said on Choi’s testimony, “We’ve not heard anything from the Japanese government about the agreement on Eun-kyung’s visit to Japan.”