national

10 million sign petition for rescue of abductees from N Korea

23 Comments

An association started by the family of Megumi Yokota who was abducted by North Korea, is preparing to present a petition calling for the rescue of her and other abductees to Prime Minister Shinzo Abe.

The association said Friday it had received from Saitama Gov Kiyoshi Ueda a petition containing 356,192 signatures, taking the total number of signatures to over 10 million. The association is planning to hand the petition to Abe at a public gathering on Saturday.

Yokota's parents are still campaigning for her return, despite persistent claims that she committed suicide as the result of depression after being abducted and taken to North Korea in 1977. However, her death was later disputed by a North Korean defector in 2011. Yokota was one of at least 17 Japanese citizens kidnapped by North Korea in the late 1970s and early 1980s.

The North Korean government admitted to kidnapping Yokota 20 years after her initial disappearance. Yokota's parents and others in Japan refuse to believe reports of her death and a controversial DNA test on her cremated remains was inconclusive. Her parents believe their daughter, who would now be 49 years old, is still alive in North Korea and and they and relatives of other abductees have been collecting signatures as part of a public campaign seeking their return to Japan.

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23 Comments
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I wish them all the best! I signed this petition and hope that it will work our for the poor families :/

1 ( +3 / -2 )

waste of time, I signed a petition a few years ago in good faith, to rid the world of nuclear weapons. but that im afraid will never happen

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

I hope they can get those who are still alive back... as a parent, I cant imagine what her parents are going through. Its been 20 years, but I can only imagine that it doesn't get any easier.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Go for it! Reasonable people will remain in Japan.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Isn't the issue 'resolved'? I mean, this all happened way back when? Why dwell on the past and not move forward? Where's the proof those who remain there were not willing participants and are not receiving a decent wage?

Sarcasm towards the obvious hypocrisy aside, if people DO have proof their loved ones were abducted -- and keep in mind some on the list turn up in Hokkaido or Kyushu and had simply run away from it all -- that in one form or another they are found and returned. While I do feel sorry for the Yokotas, and I truly do, there's really nothing that can be done short of NK giving further detail, and given current relations that's not going to happen. It's most certainly not going to happen with threats of further sanctions or some 'rescue' plan. They need to better relations before anything positive will happen, which should be a given. And if you doubt what I say, let me ask you this: when did the NK government admit they had abducted people, shake hands with a Japanese PM, and send back the returnees? It was under Koizumi in PyongYang -- a landmark time in relations when things finally seemed to be getting better. Sadly, the nutters back here in Japan went on an EXTREME hissy-fit and Koizumi had to 'get tough' to keep up his popularity, and we know where things went from there.

So in short: make nice, people. ALL people. It's only that that will yield positive results.

-4 ( +5 / -9 )

Smithinjapan,

You ask: ">Where's the proof those who remain there were not willing participants"

You must have missed this part: ">The North Korean government admitted to kidnapping Yokota"

I'd hazard a guess and say that roughly 99.99999999999999999% of abductees in all kidnappings are not "willing participants", whether it be 'Joe the weirdo' next door doing the abducting or North Korean government agents.

Not quite sure what to make of this statement:

">Isn't the issue 'resolved'? I mean, this all happened way back when? Why dwell on the past and not move forward?"

Ummmmm, nope. The issue isn't yet "resolved" for the Yokota family who are behind this association preparing the petition in order to get their still missing daughter Megumi returned. The whole purpose of the petition is to resolve the issue for them. 10 Million signatures is a huge amount and could be a way forward in trying to resolve this issue in a peaceful and diplomatic way. They are obviously determined not to just give up and "move forward" as you suggest.

0 ( +4 / -4 )

Smith those comments are pretty cold, even for your typical brand of sarcasm.

Sounds to me that you are not a parent because if you were there is no way in hell any true parent would ever give up on trying to get their child back, particularly the Yokota's.

1 ( +4 / -3 )

It's easy to understand the upset and heartbreak at having lost a child but I would hazard to guess these abducted Japanese have a family and home of their own now in North Korea. Would they even want to return to a people and culture now alien to them after such a long period?

I expect it's the parents who want their children back more than these people want to come to Japan.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Tandoorinacho: "You must have missed this part: ">The North Korean government admitted to kidnapping Yokota"

And you clearly did not read my post. I addressed the fact that the NK government admitted to SOME of the abductees, including Yokota (and obviously those returned), but as you also missed I pointed out the fact that sometimes people on the 'abductee' list turn up alive and well in Japan, and the people had zero proof that they were kidnapped at all in the first place.

More than a lack of proof of kidnapping, though, there is no proof the people are still alive. I always feel sick to my stomach when some former NK spy who defected to SK gets wined and dined in Japan and flown around Tokyo by helicopter only to bring up the hopes of families again, then have them dashed shortly after.

1 ( +5 / -4 )

This is so sad and it says a lot about the spirit of this family that they have never lost hope. I fear though that the politicians just use this issue to increase their popularity.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

I'm sure the government will claim that they are making "all possible efforts" to attain the return the abductees, when in fact they are doing nothing at all. The Japanese government actually cancelled meetings arranged with North Korea to discuss the issue.

It's almost as if the Japanese government doesn't want to solve the issue, preferring instead to use it as a tool to demonise North Korea and drum up nationalist sentiment.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

PaulJ: "This is so sad and it says a lot about the spirit of this family that they have never lost hope. I fear though that the politicians just use this issue to increase their popularity."

Absolutely spot on. On the first point, it is indeed moving that the families still do what little they can in the hope of, if nothing else, information on their loved ones. On the second point you are correct as well. Abe will issue some nationalist statement about never giving up and taking a strong stance towards NK, but in the end as I've said no progress will EVER be made while issuing threats, for either side, and particularly at this moment in time things with NK are tense, as you know.

Some people have suggested in the past a physical, black-ops-like rescue mission, but that would be an attack on a foreign nation and the perfect excuse for NK to keep up the crap it's doing. Plus, where would they look for the people? Unless the J-government has information it's not sharing.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

North Korea and it's supporters here try and sweep this issue under the rug as if had happened 70 years ago.

But it didn't 70 years ago it happened until the 1980's, now these are the ones that the PRC servant nation is willing to admit to.

I for one wonder how many innocent people they truely kidnapped and how many died in their hands.

BTW North Korea didn't just abduct Japanese they also abducted many other people from different nationalities and anyone that tries and defend them needs to wake up.

5 ( +5 / -1 )

Big help it will do. For decades desperate relatives and closer families have been petition acting the J government to get radical with N.Korea. A circus like farce develops and some clown goes to N.Korea on a trip returning empty handed. Instead turn coats like Charles Jenkins become welcome with a bunch of N.Korean sleepers and live happy ever after. Baboons sitting on their asses in the diet do nothing and will do nothing. Meanwhile Japanese government keeps on sending hard cash and supplies to fatten up the already bloated brat-in-chief and his Tin soldiers while their people starve to death. 10 million petitions?!

-2 ( +1 / -3 )

JoeBigs: Besides maybe a few pro-Pyong Yang citizens Zainichi, who on earth would support NK?

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

It's almost as if the Japanese government doesn't want to solve the issue, preferring instead to use it as a tool to demonise North Korea and drum up nationalist sentiment.

Seems that way doesn't it. But then again a government using fear and hatred in order to drum up support is hardly unusual.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

North Korea and it's supporters here try and sweep this issue under the rug as if had happened 70 years ago.

Is this serious or in jest? You do know which side was doing the mass kidnappings 70 years ago don't you? I really don't know if you are being ironic or not here. Please let us know.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

And how many of those ten million are willing to put on uniforms and go get the abductees? It's been clear for some time that NK considers the issue closed so what do they expect to be done, NK already has about as many sanctions against them as can be levied. Rescue? Nobody knows where they are, if they are still alive or what they look like so how do they propose this rescue effort should be planned?

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Ain't gonna happen:

As soon as Japan cut off the Hokkaido crab and lobster going to the fearless leader all bets were off.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

a petition calling for the rescue of her and other abductees

Rescue to me, sounds like, you go in Guns Blazing...

And Knowing some of how the Japanese Military thinks today, I am sure they would be all for it, regardless if it ended with no abductees being found alive... Because it's a worthwhile cause, NOT starting a war for oil, but helping your fellow country men, there's no higher calling, no higher honor that could be bestowed, than to ask those that serve to do a mission like this... And if for no other reason, it sends a Clear Message to kim jong un, that if you take one of our's, will kill a thousand of yours! This is NOT a unilateral action over a pack of lies, with the end game being war profiteers, but a REAL Genuine Humanitarian cause!

Or how about a tit for tat program, where Japan starts snatching people off the streets of Pyongyang..? Japan definitely has some special forces capability, that could easily start snatching people off the streets in N.Korea.... Eventually you will grab someone they do care about...

More power to u Nihon...! Go get em!

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

Chin$Sailor

Why are you full of so much hatred?

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Smithinjapan

I clearly did read your post, I just don't quite get what "point" you're trying so hard to make. I doubt very much that you quite know yourself. You just seem to be talking yourself into ever decreasing circles.

You keep beating the "no proof of having even been abducted or even being alive" drum while conveniently ignoring the whole thrust of this particular article itself.

See if you can try and get your head around this. The Yokota family are behind the association that have organized the petition in order to get further information on their still missing daughter, as well as others, possibly leading to the return of said abductees, if indeed they are in fact still alive. Not too difficult now is it ?

I'll just pop this bit of the article in here in order to help you understand why the Yokota family are doing what they can in the hope of one day seeing their daughter again as it seems you keep missing it.

"Yokota’s parents and others in Japan refuse to believe reports of her death and a controversial DNA test on her cremated remains was inconclusive. Her parents believe their daughter, who would now be 49 years old, is still alive in North Korea"

Penny dropped yet ?

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Smith, how can you compare good wages and being abducted from your own country. Many of those NKoreans living in SK that have received monetary bonuses were for those that also had pertinent information. They also risked their lives escaping from NK. The Japanese that were abducted were just that. They were ripped from their Motherland, torn away from their families and friends and most likely forced into cooperating with NK. Im sure even with them earning the highest of wages, living in the biggest house in NK with five Lamborghinis parked outside, they would give all that away to return to their country, families and friends.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

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