Japan Holds Symposium on N. Korea Abduction Issue

The Yomiuri Shimbun
Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshimasa Hayashi holds a dialogue with university students prior to a symposium that focused on North Korea’s abductions in Tokyo on Saturday.

TOKYO (Jiji Press) — The Japanese government held a symposium in Tokyo on Saturday that focused on North Korea’s abductions of Japanese citizens decades ago.

In the event also attended by victims’ families, Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshimasa Hayashi stressed that the abductions are not a past issue but an ongoing one in which victims are deprived of freedom.

The government “will work to prepare an environment toward an early realization of a Japan-North Korea summit,” said Hayashi, who is in charge of the abduction issue.

Takuya Yokota, a younger brother of abduction victim Megumi Yokota, said: “I want the government to hold the summit immediately so that all victims can reunite with their families. Stagnation in politics is unacceptable.”

At the symposium, a video to raise public awareness of the abduction issue was shown. The content of the video, which has 15-second and 30-second versions, reflects ideas from junior high school students who joined roundtable talks on the matter held by the government in August.

The government will consider utilizing the video on streaming and social media platforms.

Ahead of the symposium, Hayashi met with Okayama University School of Education students to exchange views on how to boost awareness of the issue among young people.