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Snatched from a beach to train North Korea’s spies

15 November 1977, Niigata, Japan:

It was after sundown on a crisp November night when Megumi Yokota left her final badminton follow. Sharp winds chilled the fishing port of Niigata, and the gray sea rumbled at its brink.

The lights of residence had been seven minutes’ stroll away.

Megumi, 13, along with her book-bag and badminton racquet, mentioned goodbye to 2 associates 800ft from her mother and father’ entrance door. However she by no means reached it.

As six o’clock turned seven and the quiet avenue failed to supply her daughter, Sakie Yokota started to panic. She ran to the health club at Yorii Center Faculty, anticipating to satisfy her en route.

“They left a very long time in the past,” the college’s night time watchman mentioned.

Police, tracker canine, torches splitting the darkness. They scoured a close-by pine forest calling Megumi’s title. Sakie sped down the street to the seashore, frantically scanning each automobile parked close by.

It made sense to go looking the shoreline. However maybe one thing stronger and extra ineffable drove the mom to the water’s edge that night time.

Out on the Sea of Japan, out of Sakie’s sight, a ship manned by North Korean brokers was dashing in direction of the Korean Peninsula with a terrified schoolgirl locked within the maintain.

They left no proof, and never a single witness.

The crime was so brazen and weird that few would even think about it, not to mention clear up it. However through the years, it turned clear that Megumi was not the one sufferer.

The Japanese authorities says that from 1977 till a minimum of 1983, North Korean brokers kidnapped 17 Japanese residents. Some analysts imagine the true determine may very well be greater than 100.

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Within the 12 months that adopted Megumi’s disappearance, police poured 3,000 workers days into the search. A kidnapping unit occupied the Yokota home. Patrol boats cross-hatched the ocean.

The investigation drew an agonising clean.

Megumi’s father Shigeru paced the sand each morning. At night time, he cried within the bathtub. Sakie cried when she was alone, hoping Megumi’s brothers, twins aged 9, would not hear her.

A darkish sand-timer had turned over for the Yokota household. For years, they tried merely to endure the void.

However lacking Megumi was alive.

A North Korean spy who defected to the South in 1993 instructed Seoul intimately about an kidnapped Japanese lady who matched her description. “I keep in mind her very clearly,” mentioned Ahn Myong-jin. “I used to be younger, and he or she was lovely.”

He mentioned one in every of her kidnappers – a senior spy-master – had instructed him her story in 1988:

The kidnapping was an unplanned blunder, he mentioned. No-one had meant to take a child. Two brokers ending up a spy mission to Niigata had been ready on the seashore for a pick-up boat, after they realised they’d been noticed from the street. Fearing discovery, they grabbed the determine. Megumi was tall for her age, and within the darkness they could not inform she was a toddler.

She arrived in North Korea after 40 hours locked in a pitch-black storage room, Ahn mentioned, her fingernails torn and bloody from making an attempt to claw her approach out. The brokers who took her had been chastised for his or her poor judgement. She was too younger; what use did they’ve for somewhat woman?

Megumi cried for her mom and refused to eat, unnerving her state minders. To assuage her, they promised that if she labored onerous and realized fluent Korean, she could be allowed to go residence.

It was a misinform idiot a devastated youngster. Her captors had no such intention. As a substitute, North Korea would pressure Megumi to work as a spy coach, educating Japanese language and behavior at an elite faculty for espionage.

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For this to occur as soon as could be extraordinary. However the bungled abduction set a form of precedent in North Korea.

The nation’s future chief Kim Jong-il, then head of its intelligence providers, wished to broaden his spy programme. Kidnapped foreigners weren’t simply helpful as academics. They may very well be spies themselves, or Pyongyang might steal their identities for false passports. They may marry different foreigners (one thing forbidden to North Koreans), and their kids, too, might serve the regime.

The seashores of Japan had been filled with strange individuals, ripe for abduction, who would stand no probability towards highly-trained brokers.

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“Folks suppose I do not keep in mind a lot about my sister… however I do clearly keep in mind her, although I used to be third or fourth grade in elementary faculty.”

When Megumi’s youthful brother, Takuya Yokota, and his twin Tetsuya had been 9, the police attempting to find Megumi confirmed them martial arts movies, urging them – “do not get overwhelmed – be sturdy.”

Every single day for 43 years, he has tried to heed that recommendation. Now 52, he sits in a enterprise swimsuit holding a replica of a postcard his sister despatched earlier than her kidnapping. On the finish she wrote, “I will be residence quickly!! Please wait.”

“She was very chatty, very lively and vibrant,” he says. “She was like a sunflower for our household.

“With out her on the eating desk, dialog was restricted. The environment obtained very darkish.

“I used to be very fearful, however by some means I went to mattress and obtained up within the morning – day-after-day, to search out that she was lacking. I obtained up, and I nonetheless could not discover her.”

For the primary 20 years after Megumi disappeared, the Yokotas had nothing however a chilly case and their very own determined want to know what had occurred.

They tried to guess how she is perhaps ageing. She had been tall at 13; was she nonetheless? Had she stored her childhood dimples? A shadow hung over each query. They’d no clue if she had survived that final November night time.

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In coastal cities within the late Nineteen Seventies, rumours hovered like sea gulls. Locals spoke of unusual radio indicators and lights from unknown ships, or Korean cigarette packets discarded by the shore. In August 1978, a pair on a seashore date in Toyama prefecture had been gagged, hooded and handcuffed by 4 males who spoke oddly formal, accented Japanese. They had been rapidly deserted when a dog-walker got here by and the canine barked, spooking their attackers.

Others had been much less fortunate.

On 7 January 1980, Japan’s Sankei Shimbun newspaper ran a front-page story: “Three {couples} on dates evaporate mysteriously alongside the coasts of Fukui, Niigata, and Kagoshima – is a international intelligence company concerned?”

Nevertheless it took a convicted terrorist to lastly agency up the hyperlink to North Korea.

Kim Hyun-hui had killed 115 individuals by serving to to smuggle a bomb onto a South Korean passenger aircraft in 1987. Staring down a dying sentence in Seoul, she testified that she was a North Korean agent performing on state orders. She mentioned she had realized Japanese language and behavior so she might work undercover. Her instructor, she mentioned, was an kidnapped Japanese lady whom she lived with for nearly two years.

The testimony was compelling. However Japan’s authorities would not formally acknowledge that North Korea was stealing individuals. The 2 international locations had a hostile historical past and no diplomatic relations. It was simpler to disregard the proof.

When Japanese negotiators tried to lift the problem privately, the North angrily denied any abductees existed and terminated talks.

It was 1997 – 20 years after Megumi went lacking – when Pyongyang lastly agreed to research.

21 January 1997

“We now have info that your daughter is alive in North Korea.”

Shigeru was shocked. A Japanese official named Tatsukichi Hyomoto, the non-public secretary to an MP, had contacted the Yokotas out of the blue. He had been probing abductions by Pyongyang for a decade, and wished to satisfy them as quickly as attainable.

Together with deep shock, a mad hope sprang again into the household’s hearts. The federal government believed Megumi was alive. So the query without delay turned: How can we get her again?

The Yokotas went public with their kidnap story. They had been terrified North Korea would kill Megumi to cowl up what had occurred, however her father argued the case could be handled as rumour until her title was revealed. They needed to unfold the information throughout Japan, and beg the nation for assist.

The household appeared on primetime TV. Questions had been raised in parliament. In Could, the federal government publicly confirmed that Megumi was not an remoted case: There have been extra just like the Yokotas, aching for stolen daughters, sons, sisters, brothers and moms.

Seven of those households shaped a assist group to demand the rescue of their family members: the Affiliation of Households of Victims Kidnapped by North Korea.

They talked at size, pooling what little they knew. The abductions appeared opportunistic, however patterns quickly emerged. Most victims had been younger lovers of their twenties. Seashores throughout Japan had been recast as crime scenes.

On 12 August 1978, 9 months after Megumi disappeared, 24-year-old workplace clerk Rumiko Masumoto went to look at the sundown along with her boyfriend, Shuichi Ishikawa, 23, at a seashore in Kagoshima Prefecture. Only a day earlier, she had shyly instructed her household about their relationship over dinner.

Their automobile was discovered locked on the scene, with Rumiko’s pockets and sun shades within the passenger seat. Her digicam was there too – stuffed with photos the couple took of one another the day they disappeared. Police picked up one in every of Shuichi’s sandals not removed from the water’s edge.

Each kidnapping was a non-public tragedy. A cherished one who fell out of the world with out discover. A few of these left bereft had been pushed to the sting of insanity by their loss.

The press and the general public weren’t at all times sympathetic. Information stories referred to the abductions as “alleged”. A number of Japanese politicians believed the claims had been South Korean disinformation unfold to discredit the North.

However because the households drew up petitions, crammed the airwaves, and lobbied the federal government, the reality was gathering weight like a rolling snowball.

5 years later, in North Korea, it will cease on the ft of Kim Jong-il himself.

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17 September 2002

“Because the host, I remorse that we needed to make the prime minister of Japan come to Pyongyang so early within the morning,” mentioned North Korea’s chief.

However his companion’s anger had nothing to do with the time.

Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi had flown in to debate normalising Japan’s relations with North Korea, hoping the step would enhance his flagging opinion score. As a substitute, he had walked right into a diplomatic ambush.

After a brutal Nineties famine believed to have killed greater than two million North Koreans, Kim Jong-il wished meals support and funding, and an apology for Japan’s 35-year colonisation of Korea. Japan wished – and had refused to proceed with out – particulars of each citizen kidnapped by Pyongyang’s spies.

Half an hour earlier than the historic assembly, the record of names appeared: North Korea admitted to kidnapping 13 Japanese residents. However simply 5 had been mentioned to be alive.

The causes of dying given for the opposite eight included drowning, choking on the fumes from a damaged coal heater, a coronary heart assault in a lady of 27, and two automobile accidents in a rustic the place personal residents hardly ever personal automobiles. Pyongyang claimed it couldn’t present their stays, as floods had washed away virtually all their graves.

Koizumi was aghast.

“I used to be totally distressed by the data that was offered,” he instructed Kim Jong-il, “and because the prime minister, who’s in the end answerable for the pursuits and safety of the Japanese individuals, I have to strongly protest. I can not bear to think about how the remaining relations will take the information.”

Kim listened in silence, taking notes on a memo pad, then enquired: “We could take a break now?”

Debating their predicament in an anteroom, deputy Cupboard spokesman Shinzo Abe – who would grow to be Japan’s longest-serving prime minister – urged Koizumi to not signal the declaration committing to normalisation talks until Pyongyang formally apologised for the kidnappings.

When the delegates reconvened, Kim picked up a memo and skim: “We now have totally investigated this matter, together with by analyzing our authorities’s function in it. A long time of adversarial relations between our two international locations offered the background of this incident. It was, nonetheless, an appalling incident.

“It’s my understanding that this incident was initiated by particular mission organizations within the Nineteen Seventies and Eighties, pushed by blindly motivated patriotism and misguided heroism.

“[…] As quickly as their scheme and deeds had been dropped at my consideration, those that had been accountable had been punished. This sort of factor won’t ever be repeated.”

The dictator of Pyongyang mentioned the abductions had been designed to offer its spies with native-Japanese academics, and false identities for missions in South Korea. Some victims had been snatched from seashores, sure – and others lured from research or travels in Europe.

He spoke of Megumi, the youngest named abductee by a few years, saying her kidnappers had been tried and located responsible in 1998. One was executed, and the opposite died throughout a 15-year sentence, he mentioned.

“I want to take this chance to apologise straightforwardly for the regrettable conduct of these individuals. I can’t permit that to occur once more.”

Koizumi signed the Pyongyang Declaration.

5 alive, eight declared useless.

Again in Japan, at a Tokyo guesthouse owned by the Ministry of International Affairs, the abductees’ households had been ready anxiously for information.

Megumi’s mother and father sat down with the Deputy International Affairs Minister, Shigeo Uetake. He took a breath.

“I remorse to tell you…”

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North Korea says Megumi Yokota hanged herself in a pine forest on 13 April 1994, on the grounds of a Pyongyang psychological hospital the place she was being handled for despair.

That is her second dying date. The North initially claimed she had died on 13 March 1993, earlier than declaring that an error.

As proof, Pyongyang produced what it mentioned was a hospital “dying registry”. It was a kind with the phrases “Registry of Affected person Getting into and Leaving the Hospital,” on the again of it. However “Getting into and Leaving the Hospital,” had been crossed out a number of occasions and the phrase “Demise,” written as an alternative. Japan instructed North Korea it discovered the doc extremely suspect.

One other kidnapped Japanese lady, Fukie Chimura, later mentioned that Megumi had moved in next-door to her and her husband in North Korea in June 1994, two months after Megumi’s supposed dying, and lived there for a number of months.

The Yokota household do not imagine Megumi killed herself. Nonetheless, Sakie finds the main points of Pyongyang’s story chilling.

“In Niigata, we had pine forests,” she instructed the Washington Submit in 2002. “I am positive she missed them. I am positive she was very lonely. For a minute, I believed possibly she longed a lot for us and he or she could not come again that, right away, she [took her own life.]

“I cried. However within the subsequent minute, I mentioned no, that would not have occurred. I are not looking for it to have occurred. I do not need her to have gone by that.”

Two years after declaring Megumi useless, Pyongyang handed over what it mentioned had been her ashes. They arrived on the twenty seventh anniversary of her kidnapping. Her mother and father had stored their daughter’s umbilical wire when she was born – a Japanese custom – and DNA assessments had been carried out.

The samples did not match.

The scientist who examined the ashes would later say they might have been contaminated, making the end result inconclusive. However North Korea had kind for offering doubtful stays. It had already despatched bones it claimed had been these of abductee Kaoru Matsuki, a person it mentioned had died aged 42. They included a jawbone fragment which a dental skilled mentioned belonged to a lady in her sixties.

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On 15 October 2002, the 5 abductees who North Korea mentioned had been alive landed at Tokyo’s Haneda Airport.

They stepped off the aircraft to Japanese flags and home made “Welcome residence” banners, and sobbed on the runway within the arms of their households.

Pyongyang had agreed the 5 might go to Japan for per week to 10 days.

They’d by no means set foot in North Korea once more.

How do you rescue somebody whose captor insists they’re useless? In fact, the Yokotas weren’t the one household dealing with this nightmarish query.

Rumiko Masumoto, the younger workplace clerk who disappeared along with her new boyfriend, was additionally on the record of deceased.

North Korea says Rumiko died of a coronary heart assault in her twenties. Her household do not settle for that. “There isn’t any one in my household with coronary heart failure,” her brother says merely.

Teruaki Masumoto was 22 and finding out fishery in Hokkaido on the time of his sister’s 1978 abduction. He’s 65 now, retired from a job grading tuna at Tokyo’s essential fish market.

He and Megumi Yokota share a birthday – 5 October – although they’re 9 years aside. Megumi could be 56 now, and his sister Rumiko 66.

Rumiko doted on her brother, the youngest of 4 Masumoto siblings.

“She was very variety to me,” he says. “Since our household wasn’t so prosperous, we lived in a single room with a household of six. Rumiko and I slept on the identical futon till I used to be about 12 years outdated. She cherished me a lot. After I obtained scolded by my father, she cried and defended me.”

Teruaki has charted 4 a long time of misplaced time on a treasured reward from Rumiko: a watch she gave him when he obtained into college.

Lately, the warfare of lacking seconds has grown to really feel ever extra pressing.

Rumiko and Teruaki’s father, Shoichi, died of lung most cancers in 2002. Their mom Nobuko made it to 90 earlier than passing away in 2017.

For 4 a long time she waited for her daughter to return residence. However in her later years, she acknowledged that dying may attain her first.

The seek for a stolen youngster, useless or hidden in a pariah state, is a brutal legacy to depart. Nevertheless it’s a problem many abductees’ households have been compelled to handle. With the mother and father’ era now gone or of their twilight years, ought to they inform their current, residing kids to combat on with all the things they’ve? Is it even a alternative?

There was no formal handover, however Teruaki tends the darkish sand-timer now.

“My father, when he was nonetheless alive again in round 2000, turned unable to return to Tokyo,” he says. “On the time he mentioned to me – ‘I am sorry.’ And I felt kind of puzzled and uncomfortable, as a result of I used to be doing this not due to my father however due to my lacking sister.

“My mom typically instructed me that she questioned if Rumiko would ever come again to Japan. So I believe my mom half doubted that she would see her alive. However they did not say issues like, ‘that is your time’ or ‘I would like you to maintain doing this rescue mission.’ No, they did not say that to me.”

They did not have to.

“Sure.”

Megumi’s brother, Takuya Yokota, was nonetheless in his thirties when he felt the mantle deciding on his shoulders.

“After I went to the USA to see President Bush in 2006, I discovered my ageing mother and father had hassle spending a very long time on a aircraft,” he says. “And in Japan too, if we went someplace removed from Tokyo, they might even have hassle travelling. At the moment, I understood that my mother and father wouldn’t have the ability to go to far-away locations any extra.”

Solely two of the victims’ mother and father stay alive. Sakie, the youngest, will flip 85 in February.

Megumi’s father Shigeru, softly-spoken however steely, died on 5 June 2020. He went into hospital in April 2018, and fought day-after-day that adopted to remain alive somewhat longer, together with his treasured daughter’s image by his mattress.

In Japan, the place everybody is aware of about “The Abduction Situation”, it is not attainable to guard a toddler with private ties for lengthy. Each Teruaki Masumoto and Takuya Yokota are fathers: Teruaki to a younger daughter, and Takuya to a son in his early twenties.

Takuya believes his son was in toddler faculty after they instructed him what had occurred to Aunt Megumi. “In all probability when he was six or seven years outdated. I am positive I had talked to him on the age of 9, the age I used to be when my sister obtained kidnapped.”

Teruaki’s daughter was youthful nonetheless.

“My daughter is aware of about Rumiko,” he says. “My spouse instructed her earlier than she entered kindergarten. There’s this competition in Japan in summer season, in July, after we suppose a pair separated by the Milky Method meet every year up within the sky. We write our want on a brief piece of paper and put it onto a tree. On that paper, my four-year-old daughter wrote, ‘I wish to see my aunt.’

Not each abductee’s household has the luxurious of insulating kids from the burdens of loss and obligation, as Teruaki is aware of.

Since 2004 he has campaigned alongside Koichiro Iizuka. The individual stolen from Koichiro was his mom. He was 16 months outdated on the time.

Aged 22, Yaeko Taguchi was a nightclub hostess, and single mom to a child son and three-year-old daughter. When she disappeared with no rationalization in June 1978, her kids had been left deserted of their Tokyo nursery.

Yaeko’s child son was adopted by her brother, Shigeo Iizuka, and raised as his fourth youngster. Her daughter was cared for by an aunt.

Now 43, Koichiro Iizuka remembers nothing about his beginning mom. He is notably well mannered, calling her “Yaeko-san” – “Ms Yaeko”.

“Mum” and “Dad” are Shigeo and his spouse Eiko. And till he reached 22, he had no concept his life was extra advanced than that.

“After I obtained a job I had the possibility to go overseas for coaching, and I wanted to use for my passport,” he explains. “In an effort to try this I wanted to get a household registration paper. And I took it and checked out it, and located that I used to be adopted by Mr Iizuka.

“First I could not think about why they’d stored this secret for thus lengthy; I simply could not think about, so I wanted a while. It took me per week earlier than I went to my mother and father.

“After I got here residence, my mom was out of the home however my father was there. So I instructed him I had seemed on the household registration paper and had discovered I used to be adopted. And I requested him – what occurred to me?”

Shigeo took him to lunch and instructed him the reality. “He instructed me, because the paper says you are not my organic youngster. And I’ve this youngest sister – whose title is Yaeko – and you’re a youngster of hers.”

He held again the darkest half till they had been residence.

“He instructed me, there’s this individual Kim Hyun-hui – the North Korean agent, the bomber of the KAL aircraft in 1987, and he or she mentioned she was taught by a Japanese instructor. Kim Hyun-hui was proven a number of photos twice [by Japanese police] – and he or she picked Yaeko-san, saying ‘that is my instructor.’ From that it was clear that she was one of many abductees in North Korea.”

The declare was corroborated by Fukie Chimura, one of many abductees returned to Japan, who mentioned she had shared lodging with Yaeko.

In 2004, two years after the 5 Japanese made it residence from North Korea, Koichiro determined to disclose publicly that he was Yaeko Taguchi’s son. He was pissed off by the diplomatic deadlock on rescuing the others, eager to do all he might to push the problem.

“This individual Yaeko-san wasn’t actual in my reminiscence – she was like somebody in a narrative,” he says. “However this lady within the story gave beginning to me, so it was surprising to me that I would not have the ability to see her.

“My father was given a lecture by a international ministry official who mentioned there was no proof to assist North Korea saying that she was useless. And my father mentioned he simply could not imagine it – he could not take the phrase of North Korea.

“So we thought – I believed – that I wished to rescue her, assist her.”

The aircraft bomber Kim Hyun-hui had been sentenced to dying for her crimes, however was in the end pardoned by South Korea’s then president. In 2009, Koichiro and Shigeo Iizuka travelled to Busan, South Korea to satisfy her, and be taught what they might about her time with Yaeko.

“She mentioned, I really feel that Yaeko-san is my sister, and I am very joyful to see my sister’s son immediately,” recollects Koichiro. “And I hope sometime that the 4 of us can meet at one time.”

Formally, North Korea says Yaeko Taguchi died in a automobile accident in 1986. However Ms Kim disputes that, saying she spoke to a driver who reported seeing her alive the next 12 months. She would now be 65.

Koichiro is aware of he might in the end be left looking for his mom, the lacking stranger, with out the backing of those that knew and cherished her.

“In fact I really feel time is essential. Particularly as a result of Yaeko-san has two siblings who’ve already died. My father is ageing. I would like him to see her once more very a lot. Not solely my household, however the different abductees’ households… I can simply see they’re getting older. Individuals who was very lively – a few of them are gone already, and a few are very frail.”

North Korea has by no means admitted it was behind the bombing of Korean Air Flight 858, and maintains there is no such thing as a such individual as Kim Hyun-hui.

Yaeko Taguchi’s household concern that after tutoring Kim and spending her days surrounded by spies, Yaeko might merely know an excessive amount of ever to be launched.

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All these caught up on this wrestle share a standard dread: That passing time will make a mockery of it, because the abductees age past cheap hope of survival.

Would they’ve died of outdated age in North Korea by now? At time of writing – no. However it’s going to fall to the present era to handle the query.

“Time passes equally for each side,” says Takuya Yokota. “Sure, they’re getting older too. And I believe spending a 12 months or 20 years in Japan or in England or the US has a unique which means to spending the identical period of time in North Korea. In North Korea, it’s totally onerous not solely to remain alive till tomorrow, however to maintain alive immediately.”

For Teruaki Masumoto, not even their family members’ deaths would justify giving up.

“If their deaths had been confirmed then we’d need their bones to be again with us. That is the Japanese mentality. We might additionally proceed to carry the Japanese authorities accountable for not with the ability to rescue the abductees. Despite the fact that there are 17 abductees ‘accredited’ by the federal government, I believe many, many extra are in North Korea – greater than 100. If there are different abductees, we should always have the ability to set up what occurred to them. So we’re not going to cease working any time quickly.”

In 2014, North Korea agreed to open an investigation into the fates of the eight acknowledged abductees it has not returned, regardless of having declared them useless. It was dragged out till 2016, then cancelled in a spat over nuclear take a look at sanctions.

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Megumi’s father dreamed of strolling her by the lights and liveliness of Roppongi, Tokyo’s leisure district. However in her mom’s prayers, they go to a subject collectively the place they will lie down trying on the sky, with out anyone round, and simply quietly and peacefully spend time.

Sakie writes open letters to her daughter, within the hope the phrases might by some means attain her.

A part of one, published by JAPAN forward final 12 months earlier than the lack of her husband, reads as follows:

“Expensive Megumi,

“I do know it may appear a bit unusual that I’m simply casually reaching out to you. Are you nicely?

“[…] I’ve been making an attempt my greatest to stay a full life, however I really feel my physique weakening, and day-after-day will get somewhat bit tougher. After I see your father on the hospital desperately doing his rehabilitation workouts, I’m overcome with an urgency to discover a approach for him to see you.

“That is the truth of ageing. It is not simply your father and me. We could also be coping with ageing, illness, and weariness, however the households of all of the victims in North Korea nonetheless go on craving to see their family members again on native soil and maintain them of their arms.

“We do not have a lot time left. We have fought lengthy and onerous with our hearts and souls, however we can not maintain out for much longer.

“[…]I wish to have fun my subsequent birthday with you. Solely the nation of Japan – the federal government – could make that occur. However typically I am overcome with a way of unease and am involved that our efforts are futile once I see what is going on on in our authorities. I doubt they’ve the need to resolve this downside and work out a solution to deliver the victims residence.

“[…] In some way, I’ve managed to outlive this raging storm. I’m grateful that you simply even have survived, supported by a higher energy. We aren’t alone. And so I pray once more immediately as I consider all of you.

“It would take extra effort than ever earlier than to deliver all of the victims again to Japan. In fact, Japan should get up for itself, however we additionally want braveness, love, and righteousness from around the globe. (These of you who learn my letter, please take a second to recollect in your coronary heart the abductees nonetheless trapped in North Korea. Please communicate out for them.)

“Dearest Megumi, I’ll sustain the combat to deliver you again residence to me, your father, and your brothers Takuya and Tatsuya. My resolve stays unshaken, even at age 84. So please handle your self and by no means lose hope.”

 

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