U.S. Embassy officials to visit abduction sites

NHK has learned that officials at the U.S. Embassy in Japan are making arrangements to visit sites in Niigata Prefecture where Japanese nationals were abducted by North Korea decades ago.

This year marks the 20th anniversary of a Japan-North Korea summit in which Pyongyang admitted its agents abducted Japanese nationals.

Embassy officials plan to carry out the visit next week. They should inspect the school route in the city of Niigata where Yokota Megumi disappeared 45 years ago. They are also likely to visit the coast of Kashiwazaki town where Hasuike Kaoru and his then girlfriend and now wife Yukiko were taken 44 years ago.

This will be the first time since Ambassador John Roos visited 11 years ago that U.S. Embassy officials will inspect the Yokota kidnapping site.

It is believed to be the first time that U.S. Embassy officials have visited the Hasuike kidnapping site.

In August last year, the mayor of Kashiwazaki town and the mayor of Sado town, where Soga Hitomi and his mother Miyoshi were abducted, sent a message via the embassy asking President Joe Biden to l ‘help solve the kidnapping problem.

The heads of all the municipalities in Niigata Prefecture have also set up a group to call for the problem to be resolved.