TOTTORI (TR) – The family of a woman who is believed to have been abducted by North Korea 42 years ago sought help in her return from the government prior to a meeting in Yonago City on Monday, reports the Sankei Shimbun (Nov. 4).
Prior to the meeting, which discussed the issue of Japanese nationals abducted by North Korea, the brother of Kyoko Mastumoto spoke with Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshida Suga.
“I have asked Prime Minister Abe [to resolve the matter] many times, but I still can’t fulfill my wish,” said 72-year-old Hajime Matsumoto.
According to Japan’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Matsumoto was 29 years old when she disappeared while commuting to a knitting class located near her residence in Yonago on October 21, 1977. Her whereabouts have been unknown since.
After participating in the meeting, Suga told reporters, “There has been no change in the government’s determination to break the shell of distrust [with North Korea], resolving the nuclear, missile and abduction issues and normalizing diplomatic relations with North Korea. It is a critical moment that continues.”
In 2002, North Korea admitted that it had kidnapped 13 Japanese nationals. However, it denies that Matsumoto entered its territory, according to Japan’s foreign ministry.