Japan’s Chief Cabinet Secretary Meets Families of Those Possibly Kidnapped by North Korea; Vows Swift Return of All Abductees

The Yomiuri Shimbun
Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshimasa Hayashi, left, meets with relatives of Japanese nationals possibly abducted by North Korea, at the Prime Minister’s Office on Monday.

Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshimasa Hayashi met with relatives of those possibly abducted by North Korea and vowed a swift return of all Japanese abductees.

In the meeting at the Prime Minister’s Office on Monday, Hayashi, who also serves as the minister in charge of the abduction issue, met with a group of family members of “specified missing persons” — Japanese nationals who may have been abducted by North Korea.

“Regardless of whether they’re officially recognized [by the government as abductees], we’ll work resolutely, with all our strength, to achieve the earliest possible return of all abductees,” Hayashi said.

Hideki Imai, 81, head of the group and older brother of Yutaka Imai, who went missing in Hirosaki, Aomori Prefecture, in 1969 at the age of 18, handed a petition to Hayashi calling for the quick return of those who may have been abducted. “We’d like them to be immediately recognized [by the government as abductees],” he said.