Why this issue remains unresolved

The main points of contention between Japan and North Korea


The Government of Japan ( hereafter refered to as "GoJ" ) does not accept the claim by North Korea that 8 abductees died and that North Korea has no knowledge of 4 other abductees. As stated in the following, there is no evidence corroborating such claims.


North Korea has not produced any objective evidence which corroborates their claim that 8 abductees have died.


There is not a single document which proves their "deaths": the death certificates produced by North Korea were hastily made when the GoJ investigation team visited North Korea in 2002, and there are no names of the victims in the traffic accident reports.



There are no "remains" of the abductees : North Korea utterly claims that 6 "remains" of the 8 "deceased " abductees were washed away by torrential rain. Tests on the "remains" of the 2 victims also revealed DNA of other individuals.


Explanations by North Korea of events leading up to the "deaths" of the abductees are not only largely vague, but frequently contradict what the GoJ has learned through the testimonies of the returned abductees and domestic investigations. The overall credibility of North Korea's account is in highly questionable.


There are too many unnatural causes of "death": North Korea claims that most of the 8 abductees succumbed in their 20s and 30s to such causes as gas poisoning, traffic accidents, heart attacks or suicide.


The Yodo-go hijack incident

On March 31st, 1970, 9 ultra-leftists, hijacked Japan Airlines Flight 351, commonly known as "Yodo-go" and fled to North Korea.

It is known that the "Yodo-go" group was deeply involved in the abduction of Japanese nationals in Europe.

North Korea denies the apparent involvement of the "Yodo-go hijackers" in the abduction of 3 citizens: From the testimonies of the wives of the culprits of the "Yodo-go" hijackers it is evident that one of these culprits and their parties were involved in the abduction of 3 Japanese civilians. North Korea, however, vehemently denies the involvement of the hijackers.

This contradiction alone is enough to cast serious doubt on the credibility of the account of the 3 abductees, who North Korea claims to have died in gas poisoning and traffic accidents.


North Korea rejects the testimony given by the culprit of the 1987 Korean Airlines bombings: The North Korean agent responsible for this bombing has testified that abductee, Ms. Yaeko Taguchi had been her instructor, a fact that North Korea flatly denies. This apparent contradiction raises questions as to the overall reliability of the account of Ms. Taguchi, who "died" in a traffic accident according to North Korea.


The left photograph is a picture of Ms. Taguchi. The right drawing is an impression of "Lee Un-Hae" who trained the culprit of the Korean Airlines bombing, Ms. Kim Hyon Hui. Investigations revealed that "Lee Un-Hae" is in fact Ms. Taguchi.


Vague and unnatural accounts of Ms. Megumi Yokota : There are numerous vague and unnatural points in the accounts provided by North Korea of the "death" of Ms. Megumi Yokota, such as altering the date of her death and the manner in which her "remains" were handled.


Both the ex-husband of Ms. Megumi Yokota and her attending physician at the time failed to correctly state the date of her "death" and then identically altered their testimony of the date in question by roughly one year.


Very little credibility can be accorded to the medical records which have revealed traces of fabrication and mistakes.



(The "Deceased Register" which was shown to the investigation team by North Korea. The front cover shows that the title "Admissions/Release Register" has been altered to "Deceased Register")


Ms. Megumi Yokota's ex-husband explained that he exhumed Ms. Megumi Yokota's "body" with the help of his fellow villagers from her burial grounds 3 years after her "death", after which he cremated her "body" and kept her "remains". Together with the fact that all this while he had already been married to a different woman, this is an exceedingly unnatural account.


Numerous other contradictory points

There are many other points among the explanations of North Korea which contradict the testimonies of the returned abductees or the results of domestic investigations within Japan. For example, North Korea has explained that Ms. Masumoto and Mr. Ichikawa married in July 1979, but it has become clear from other sources that until at least October 1979, Ms. Masumoto was not married as she was residing with one of the returned abductees.


In addition to North Korea's questionable accounts for the 8 abductees, North Korea also denies any knowledge of the 4 other abductees. Investigations by the Japanese authorities, however, have made it clear that North Korea was involved in all 4 cases. North Korea's claim that they have no knowledge of their whereabouts is utterly unacceptable.


North Korea claims that they have punished those in charge of the abductions and presented the records of the relevant trials to Japan. Considerable parts, however, of the document have been deleted and reference to abductions found in the remaining section are extremely limited. There is little that proves the punishment of the culprits.