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The Prime Minister in Action

Farewell Ceremony for Mr. IIZUKA Shigeo

March 12, 2022

Photograph  of the Prime Minister delivering an address (1)

Photograph of the Prime Minister delivering an address (1)

  • Photograph  of the Prime Minister delivering an address (1)
  • Photograph of the Prime Minister offering flowers (1)
  • Photograph of the Prime Minister offering flowers (2)
  • Photograph  of the Prime Minister delivering an address (2)
  • Photograph  of the Prime Minister delivering an address (3)

Photograph of the Prime Minister offering flowers (1)

Photograph of the Prime Minister offering flowers (1)

Photograph of the Prime Minister offering flowers (2)

Photograph of the Prime Minister offering flowers (2)

Photograph  of the Prime Minister delivering an address (2)

Photograph of the Prime Minister delivering an address (2)

Photograph  of the Prime Minister delivering an address (3)

Photograph of the Prime Minister delivering an address (3)

[Provisional Translation]

On March 12, 2022, the Prime Minister attended the farewell ceremony for Mr. IIZUKA Shigeo held in Tokyo.

After offering flowers, the Prime Minister said in his address,

 “I would like to offer a few words on the occasion of the farewell ceremony for Mr. IIZUKA Shigeo. First of all, I extend my heartfelt condolences to Mr. Iizuka once again and express sincere condolences to his bereaved family members. It is truly regrettable that we were not able to realize his reunion with Ms. TAGUCHI Yaeko while he was alive, and the Government and I, as a politician, are sincerely sorry for it. It has been more than 40 years since Ms. Taguchi was abducted by North Korea. Mr. Iizuka called for the rescue of Ms. Taguchi for many years, and in particular, since he succeeded Mr. YOKOTA Shigeru as the representative of the Association of the Families (of Victims Kidnapped by North Korea), he led the families of abductees for as long as 14 years and devoted himself to the resolution of the abductions issue exactly to the end of his life. His activities were not limited within Japan; he disseminated the situation of the abductions issue and appealed for its early resolution to the international community. These activities moved the heart of a large number of people, and more than 15 million signatures on a petition calling for the solution of the abductions issue were delivered to the government, which led to a growing voice of the international community that demands immediate resolution of the issue. I believe that the growing call of the Japanese people and the international community will definitely push North Korea into action. It was the citizens’ rally held last November that gave me the last opportunity to meet Mr. Iizuka. We have just heard his voice at the time through a video, and his words that he would never give up left a strong impression on me. Taking Mr. Iizuka’s will to heart, I am determined to do everything in my capacity to resolve the abductions issue on my own initiative. The abductions issue is the highest priority issue for the Kishida Cabinet. As Prime Minister, I will take the lead in addressing the issue and make every effort to realize the return of all abductees at the earliest possible date without missing out on any opportunities. Let me conclude my remarks by once again expressing this strong determination before the soul of Mr. Iizuka.”

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