North Korea- Kidnapped (1/6)The abductions of Japanese citizens from Japan by agents of the North Korean government happened during a period of six years from 1977 to 1983.
Although only 17 Japanese (eight men and nine women) are officially recognized by the Japanese government as having been abducted, there may have been hundreds of victims, symbolized by the case of Susumu Fujita who has not been officially identified by the Japanese government despite compelling evidence.
The North Korean government has officially admitted abducting 13 Japanese citizens.
There are testimonies that many non-Japanese citizens, including nine European citizens, have been abducted by North Korea.
Most of the missing were in their 20s, although the youngest, Megumi Yokota, was 13 when she disappeared in November 1977, from the Japanese west coast city of Niigata.
The North Korean government claims that she committed suicide in March 1994.
It is believed that the victims were abducted to teach Japanese language and culture at North Korean spy schools.
Older victims were also abducted for the purpose of obtaining their identities, but these abductees are believed to have been killed immediately.
It is also speculated that Japanese women were abducted to have them become wives to a group of North Korea-based Japanese terrorists after a 1970 Japan Airlines hijacking, and that some may have been abducted because they happened to witness activities of North Korean agents in Japan, which may explain Yokota's abduction as she was a very young girl.
For a long time, these abductions were denied by North Korea and its sympathizers (including Chongryon and the Japan Socialist Party) and were often considered a conspiracy theory.
Despite pressure from Japanese parent groups, the Japanese government itself took no action these days.
Please visit my article, "Kidnapped by North Korea" below:
The speech by Mr. Masumoto in the European Parliament May 29, 2012.
First, as a Japanese citizen, I would like to thank the European
Governments, and the European people for the assistance you provided
Japan in the aftermath of the Great East Japan Earthquake and tsunami in
last year. We are very grateful.
I also appreciate the opportunity to testify here today about Japanese
victims kidnapped by North Korea.
My name is Teruaki Masumoto. In August 1978 my sister, Rumiko Masumoto,
was forcibly abducted from Japanese soil by North Korean spies. There
are many other families like mine. Together we have formed the Committee
for Families of Victims Kidnapped by North Korea. I am now the secretary
general of that association. Our goal? is to get our loved ones back
from North Korea.
North Korea planted spies in order to convert South Korea to communism.
But when that didn’t work, they began to think about kidnapping
foreigners to use as spies to overthrow the South Korean government.
North Korea kidnapped over a hundred Japanese citizens. This
state-sponsored crime had two purposes: one, to train spies to pass as
Japanese citizens; and two, to provide a marriage partner for an
American who defected to North Korea.
We know now that Kim Hyon Hee, the former North Korean agent involved
in the Korean Air bombing, was trained in Japanese language and culture
by abductee Yaeko Taguchi. We also have eye-witness testimony that
Megumi Yokota, Shuichi Ichikawa, and others were working as
Japanese-language teachers at Kim Jong Il Political Military University
We know that it was decided that Hitomi Soga, one of the abductees who
has returned to Japan, would be the wife of American army deserter
Charles Jenkins. Other abductees faced the same fate: Anocha Panjoy,
from Thailand; Doina Bumbea from Romania; and Siham Shraiteh from
Lebanon were all married off to American army deserters.
These are not the only two reasons for the abductions, however. At
present, abductees are made to work in medicine or in counterfeiting.
Abductees with chemical or biological backgrounds are used in weapons
What about abductees from other countries? There were eighty-two
thousand nine hundred twenty nine South Korean abductees during the
Korean War; currently there are about five hundred.
We also know that there are four abductees from Lebanon, one from
Thailand, one from Romania, and two from China. In addition, there are
four suspected abductees from Malaysia, one from Singapore, three from
France, three from Italy, two from the Netherlands, and one from Jordan.
The Thai government now knows about Anocha Panjoy, and has pressed the
North Korean government for answers through its embassy. But North Korea
refuses to even admit she exists. Its behavior toward the Romanian
government is the same.
By kidnapping innocent civilians who were not involved in any
political activities, North Korea has harmed not only the victims, but
also their families and their countries.
Recently, we received information about a young American who
disappeared in China’s Yunnan province on August 14, 2004. His parents
and brother came to Tokyo to meet us, and as we learned more about him
we felt his disappearance is very suspicious, too.
I have visited South Korea, Thailand, Macau, and Romania. I have met
with the families of the abductees, and we have shared our pain and our
grief. We have also shared our determination to get our loved ones back
home. But except for Japan and South Korea, these families have no
organized structure, no means of helping their family members. So when I
raise my voice on behalf of the abductees, I do so on behalf of all of
them?not just those from Japan.
We are determined to work together? all the families of those abducted
by North Korea. To that end, three years ago we formed the International
Alliance for the Abduction Issue. Our goal is to free all those abducted
by North Korea, and we will continue to make our voices heard at the
Our goal is the rescue all the victims abducted by North Korea, and
for that we need the help and cooperation of the European Governments.
We hope we can count on you.
More Info: http://www.rachi.go.jp/en/index.html
NK Abductions Worldwide: http://www.sukuukai.jp/narkn/index.html
Rescue Abductees: http://rescue-abductees.blogspot.com/