Abductees’ families hopeful

Jiji Press

Sakie Yokota, whose daughter Megumi was abducted in 1977, speaks during an interview on Friday in Kawasaki.

Jiji Press TOKYO (Jiji Press) — Families of Japanese citizens abducted decades ago by North Korea pinned high hopes on Friday on a possible meeting between U.S. President Donald Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un.

“At last, we have come this far,” said Sakie Yokota, 82, whose daughter Megumi was abducted by the reclusive nation in 1977 at the age of 13.

“I’m looking forward” to their meeting, the mother said in an interview after the news of the summit broke on Friday, expressing hopes that the abductees will be released soon.

Yokota said that Trump, whom she met when he visited Japan last November, “understands well the feelings” of the abductees’ families. It will be good if “Japan stands united to resolve the issue,” she said.

Fumiyo Saito, 72, is also eager to see progress. Her younger brother, Kaoru Matsuki, was kidnapped in 1980 at the age of 26.

“It’s about politics, so we don’t know what’s happening,” she said. “All we can do is to watch.”

Saito, however, expressed hopes that Trump will not forget his condemnation of the abductions during the November meeting with the families.

Shuichi Ichikawa was abducted at the age of 23 nearly 40 years ago. His older brother Kenichi, 72, voiced hopes that the “extremely explosive” situation between the United States and North Korea will be resolved.

On the abduction issue, he said that he can “only hope that progress will be made.” He added, “I hope the president will make good use of this opportunity.”Speech

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