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Music Part of Gathering to Urge North Korea to Return Megumi Yokota 46 Years After Abduction

The Yomiuri Shimbun
Children perform a song on Tuesday in Chuo Ward, Niigata, in front of a photo of Megumi Yokota projected onto a screen.

NIIGATA — Wednesday marked 46 years since North Korea abducted Megumi Yokota, then 13.

Yokota’s former classmates and students of her alma mater, Niigata Elementary School in Niigata, gathered at the school to pray for her return.

Violinist Naoya Yoshida, 59, one of Yokota’s friends, performed in the hope of her prompt return to Japan.

“We hope that next year’s gathering will be a celebration of her return home,” said a sixth-grader standing in front of a photo of Yokota and speaking on behalf of a group of children in attendance.

The event concluded with a chorus of about 450 children singing “Cosumosu no yo ni” (Like the Cosmos), a song Yokota’s 87-year-old mother, Sakie, wrote.

North Korean agents abducted Yokota when she was on her way home from junior high school on Nov. 15, 1977.

The elementary school has been holding an annual gathering as a remembrance of the abduction for about 10 years.