On one memorable occasion, the mother of one abductee
stood at the Sukiyabashi intersection in Tokyo, possibly the world's busiest crosswalk, for an hour and gathered only one signature for her petition to the government for assistance.
22 -- North Korea's official newspaper Rodong Shinmun alleges the new Japanese government under Prime Minister Taro Aso has nullified a bilateral deal covering the North's reinvestigation of Japanese abductees
and Tokyo's lifting of some of its sanctions once the probe starts.
Kim had agreed to reinvestigate the missing abductees
but progress has been stalled since then.
On Tuesday and Wednesday, Kim met with Shigeo Iizuka, the 72-year-old brother of abductee
Taguchi, and her 33-year-old son Koichiro Iizuka at the same country house in Karuizawa.
Shigeo, who heads the abductee
families' group and the National Association for the Rescue of Japanese Kidnapped by North Korea, and Koichiro gave the poster made by the Investigation Commission on Missing Japanese Probably Related to North Korea to Kim in March last year when the three met for the first time in Busan, South Korea.
I know the abductee
issue is of great concern here in Japan and I will be meeting with families later today to express my personal sympathy and our concern about what happened to those who were abducted,'' Clinton told a press conference before the meeting with the families of the abductees
North Korea hinted at the existence of other Japanese nationals it had abducted, apart from the 17 abductees
on Japan's official list, during preparatory talks for a bilateral meeting in June in Beijing, Japanese government sources said Wednesday.
The government must now press North Korea hard to conduct a thorough investigation into Japanese abductees
so that they can return home as soon as possible and so that the truth about them can be learned.
During her visit to the United States, Sakie and other relatives of abductees
called for international economic sanctions against North Korea to force it to return Japanese and other nationals abducted by North Korea.
Megumi was abducted at the age of 13 in 1977, and her case has become a symbol of the abductee
issue in Japan.
Soga and about 10 members of her local support group set up tables in a makeshift tent, calling for signatures and handing out blue ribbons symbolizing the plight of the abductees
to visitors at the park.
Soga was repatriated to Japan along with four other abductees
in 2002, while Jenkins came to Japan with their two North Korean-born daughters Mika and Brinda in July 2004.