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The Prime Minister in Action

Meeting with Families of Abductees

October 18, 2021

Photograph of the Prime Minister holding a meeting (1)

Photograph of the Prime Minister holding a meeting (1)

  • Photograph of the Prime Minister holding a meeting (1)
  • Photograph of the Prime Minister holding a meeting (2)
  • Photograph of the Prime Minister holding a meeting (3)
  • Photograph of the Prime Minister holding a meeting (4)

Photograph of the Prime Minister holding a meeting (2)

Photograph of the Prime Minister holding a meeting (2)

Photograph of the Prime Minister holding a meeting (3)

Photograph of the Prime Minister holding a meeting (3)

Photograph of the Prime Minister holding a meeting (4)

Photograph of the Prime Minister holding a meeting (4)

[Provisional Translation]

On October 18, 2021, the Prime Minister held a meeting with families of abductees at the Prime Minister’s Office.

In the opening, the Prime Minister said,

“I extend my sincere appreciation to you for coming to the Prime Minister’s Office amidst your very busy schedules today. Mr. YOKOTA Shigeru and Ms. ARIMOTO Kayoko, who I met before as Minister for Foreign Affairs, passed away last year, without being reunited with their daughters, Ms. YOKOTA Megumi and Ms. ARIMOTO Keiko, respectively. My heart aches deeply to think of their regret and I have no words for it. I sincerely pray for the repose of their souls. And once again, I must express my heartfelt apology for many abductees still left in North Korea even now.

Without any doubt, the abductions issue remains the highest priority for my Cabinet as well. On the day after I assumed office as Prime Minister, I held a telephone talk with U.S. President Biden, where I asked again for his continued understanding and cooperation and President Biden offered his strong support. After that, I held telephone summit talks directly with leaders of such countries as China and Russia, where I made sure to take up the abductions issue and sought their continued understanding and cooperation.

I will continue to seriously take to heart your earnest wishes for the return of abductees, and with a strong determination that I need to take the lead to tackle the issue, I keep your wishes in my heart. In order to realize the return of all abductees at the earliest possible date, I am resolved to meet face-to-face with Chairman Kim Jong-Un, without any conditions. And above all, the international situation is changing every moment. In collaboration with the countries concerned, we must not miss any single opportunity. I strongly believe that we must seize every opportunity and bring a face-to-face meeting into reality, thereby realizing the return of abductees.

As you have come all the way here despite your very busy schedules today, I would like to make this meeting serve as an opportunity where I once again express such determination and listen to what you have thought and felt for many years. Taking it as a strong tailwind, we will steadily strive in our future efforts. I would like to conclude my remarks by once again seeking your cooperation sincerely. Thank you.”
 

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