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Megumi Yokota's parents mark her 47th birthday

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The parents of Megumi Yokota, a Japanese girl kidnapped by the North Korean government in 1977, celebrated their daughter’s 47th birthday Wednesday with a ceremony focusing on the “abduction problem” in their hometown of Kawasaki City, Kanagawa Prefecture.

North Korea abducted at least 17 Japanese citizens throughout the 1970s and '80s, and the abductions remain a contentious issue between Japan and North Korea.

At the ceremony, about 750 demonstrators recited “Oboro no Tsukiyo”, Yokota’s favorite song, and prayed for her safe return to Japan, Fuji TV reported.

Prominent politicians and members of citizens' groups dedicated to securing the abductees' return to Japan attended the ceremony.

Megumi’s father thanked the audience for their support and said it was their greatest asset in returning the abdcutees. Yokota's mother noted that North Korea took 20 years to acknowledge abducting Megumi, and expressed hope that another breakthrough would come with time.

Center-stage at the ceremony was a birthday cake that read, “Happy Birthday Megumi” in English.

North Korea returned what it claimed to be Megumi’s remains in 1994, but their authenticity is disputed. Megumi’s parents and other advocates believe she may still be alive.

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4 Comments
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I watched a documentary about this kidnapping some time ago. It is one of the saddest things I have ever watched. Particularly as there seems to be no rhyme nor reason for it. I hope the family can get real closure some day. "Ganbatte"

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Prominent politicians

Did they give Ozawa a few hours off to attend?

I bet that more than just Japanese have been abducted. I am sure you could find hundreds abducted from various Asian countries to teach language and customs, as no one in their right mind would want to volunteer to go there and work.

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JGirl,

yes there have been more the Japanese abducted, common knowledge for a long time now

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I watched a documentary about this kidnapping some time ago. It is one of the saddest things I have ever watched.

I have a copy of that documentary - it's quite bizarre, and as you said, very sad. It's impossible to imagine what this must have been like for her family, all these years.

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