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Japan minister visits site of Megumi Yokota’s abduction

The Yomiuri Shimbun
Chief Cabinet Secretary Hirokazu Matsuno speaks to reporters on Sunday after he visited the site where Megumi Yokota was abducted in Niigata City.

Chief Cabinet Secretary Hirokazu Matsuno visited Niigata City on Sunday to inspect the area around the site where Megumi Yokota was abducted by North Korea at age 13 in 1977.

Matsuno told reporters after the visit, “I would like the entire Cabinet to work toward solving this problem.”

Matsuno also serves as the minister in charge of the abduction issue. He visited the school gate of Megumi’s junior high school and the crossroad where she parted with her schoolmate on the day of her abduction 44 years ago.

“I was taken aback by what happened in such a quiet residential area,” Matsuno said.

Matsuno mentioned that Prime Minister Fumio Kishida has expressed his determination to face up to North Korean leader Kim Jong Un without any conditions, and emphasized, “Direct talks between both top leaders is important.”