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Do you believe there are still Japanese abductees alive in North Korea?

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I personally don't believe that any of them are still alive

-1 ( +11 / -12 )

Same here. Nope, don't think any of them is still alive.

Funnily enough, if you ask the Japanese about the abductees.

First they will answer: I hope they will come back to Japan.

To which you answer by asking them: *So, you do believe they are still alive?*

Which is when they actually say: Err...No, I don't think so...

Had the above discussion with (too) many Japanese friends, acquaintances and colleagues each time the abductee issue was rolled out by the J-gov.

Still, I do get why the families cling on to the belief they are...But again, let's be real about the whole thing and where we stand decades after the facts and decades of inaction.

8 ( +14 / -6 )

@blue That’s neither funny nor contradicting. It often means, that they of course think or know that a person is dead, but still the remains , corpses, bones or ashes, could and should come back home, near their families, for burying and so on.

6 ( +7 / -1 )

Ask Kim, not us, as he has the power position and data access to answer this question completely and correctly.

4 ( +5 / -1 )

@Sven Asai

I should have added that the discussion then ends with what I would label "a silence with a confused look on the face" of the person I am talking to.

The abductee issue is a tragedy and an emotional issue. The "face" of the whole issue is basically Megumi Yokota with her mother filling in for her absence. If one looks at any interview or statement of Mrs Yokota, it is obvious that she believes her daughter to be alive and will not have it any other way PERIOD.

My take (for what it's worth) on my above discussions with Japanese people is that: they accept Mrs Yokota's belief on the issue, but when asked about their very own beliefs on the issue...They have to face the fact that, well, their beliefs are ultimately at odds with Mrs Yokota's. Anyway, that is how I read my interactions with J-people on the topic.

One thing that I often wonder about is, while Mrs Yokota's belief as pretty much the formal(??)/informal(??) spokesperson of the abductee families are clear, I often wonder about the other families. I could picture some of them just wanting "closure" which, as you mentioned, could be reached by returning bones, ashes or other remains. The problem may then be that they are in the shade of Mrs Yokota's (and Megumi's) towering presence which on one side brings attention to their plight while on the other side, may actually complicate things when it comes to get "closure"...

2 ( +5 / -3 )

P.S. Yes, I agree, in the context "funnily" was inappropriate. Allow me replace it with "strangely".

0 ( +2 / -2 )

I think that all the surviving Japanese abductees came back after Koizumi's visit to North Korea.

3 ( +4 / -1 )

Life is tough in NK. I remember that American college student who wanted to take a flag as a memento and ended up in a vegetative state sent back to the US to die.

6 ( +6 / -0 )

Maybe they've been there such a long time that they gave up on being rescued, and they just adjusted to life in NK. Maybe they married and have kids. Then there would be no need or desire to return to Japan.

-3 ( +2 / -5 )

Blue, understand and applauded your desire to be respectful but “funnily” is a perfectly acceptable English usage in the context, it has nothing to do with “fun” and therefor you have nothing to be apologetic about if someone fails to understand a normal English language usage on an English language site.

Given the harsh lives of the North Koreans generally, lack of even minimal legal health care and the time that has past since their abduction I think there is a fairly high probability that they are dead, but it is the unjustifiable failure of the perpetrators of this crime, the NK government to provide clear evidence one way or the other and if they are dead to return the remains to their relatives.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

It is possible some of the abductees are alive. I can think of two possible reasons.

Some abductees dont want to return to Japan because of the family they have created in North Korea and dont want to be separated from them. If they have a family with a North Korean, it would be very complicated.

It is also plauisble (but unlikely) that there could be a few Japanese abductees who have trained high level Korean spies in Japanese language, that are unable to return because these spies are embedded into important positions in Japanese society. For example this reasons has been raised to explain Megumi Yokota's non return to Japan in the Koizumi era.

However, as time passes it become more unlikely.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

Its possible the best way to find this out is ask the Japanese who were returned if there are still Japanese citizen in NK that were kidnapped

1 ( +2 / -1 )

not if considers their age.

remember Jenkins?

0 ( +0 / -0 )

no; but even if some of them were alive, they wouldn’t be the same anymore, they would be like ghosts and their (real) families wouldn’t recognize them; brainwashing and time are two powerful things; the memories of their lives in Japan would be long gone by now; all those moments would be lost by now, like tears in the rain.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

North Korea has never proven that Megumi Yokota has died.

Until such proof is offered, it should be presumed she is still alive -- especially given that she was born in 1964.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

Accoding to the news that some abductees were released and came to Japan dacades ago, the possbility of living in the country is positive. However, those who remain in the place might have hesitations of going back to Japan in some reason.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

I don't see how anyone can say they are all alive or all dead. Undoubtedly some are dead. But some may be alive, although they may be so braiwashed that they wouldn't consider returning to Japan. In either case North Korea must be brought to cooperate to finialize this issue.

South Korea has far more abductees than Japan, and if President Yoon's declared intent to improve SKJ/JPN relations is true, then a unified front concerning these NK abduction issue may be more effective than what is being carried out now.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

Non-issue. Nothing will change regarding this matter no matter what the circumstances. Abe created this fake political issue and he made sure that it would never, ever be resolved. The whole issue stinks of cynical political manipulation of the families involved and a gullible Japanese public.

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

Some might be. I definitely don't think all of them are, though I have zero to base this on. I also think most people Japan have on their self-described abductee list were not actually abducted. Well, maybe the officially recognized ones, but isn't there are a list of some 170 people some claim have been abducted, and every now and again one of them pops up in Kyushu or somewhere after having hid from family or paying taxes for decades?

https://www.japantimes.co.jp/news/2016/06/16/national/man-thought-abducted-north-korea-found-japan/

-2 ( +1 / -3 )

Non-issue. Nothing will change regarding this matter no matter what the circumstances. Abe created this fake political issue and he made sure that it would never, ever be resolved. The whole issue stinks of cynical political manipulation of the families involved and a gullible Japanese public.

Huh? None could ever possibly have created this issue as a fake political one. This is very real inhumane criminal acts by the thug nation

1 ( +2 / -1 )

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