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South Korean Ambassador to Japan visits Abduction Sites in Niigata Pref.

The Yomiuri Shimbun
South Korean Ambassador to Japan Yun Duk-min, left, shakes hands with Hitomi Soga at Sado City Hall in Niigata Prefecture on Thursday.

NIIGATA — South Korean Ambassador to Japan Yun Duk-min on Thursday visited vicinities in Niigata Prefecture where North Korean agents abducted Japanese nationals, including Megumi Yokota.

According to the prefectural government, it was the third time that a South Korean ambassador to Japan had visited the prefecture to address the abduction issue, following similar visits in 2014 and 2016. The ambassador’s side reportedly requested this latest visit.

On Thursday morning, Yun walked from Yorii Junior High School, which Yokota attended, to a nearby beach, while listening to explanations from prefectural officials. Yokota was taken while on her way home from school, age 13.

In 2022, Yun met in Tokyo with abductees’ families, including Yokota’s mother, Sakie, 87.

“I feel anger at the events that have befallen these truly happy families,” Yun said after his site visit. “There are South Korean abductees, too. Both countries should work together to resolve this issue.”

On Thursday afternoon, Yun visited the abduction site of Hitomi Soga, now 64, and her mother Miyoshi, who was 46 at the time, in Sado in the prefecture. The ambassador met with Hitomi Soga and stressed the importance of establishing a cooperative framework between Japan and South Korea to rescue all the abductees.

Speaking about Yun’s call for cooperation between the two nations, Soga said: “I’m very grateful. I asked him for the South Korean government to offer its wisdom and work together to enable all the abductees to return home as soon as possible.”