Meeting with Families of Abductees and Others

March 4, 2024

[Provisional Translation]


On March 4, 2024, Prime Minister Kishida held a meeting with families of abductees and others at the Prime Minister’s Office.
Prime Minister Kishida said in his remarks,
“Once again, I would like to express my sincere appreciation to the members of the Association of Families (of Victims Kidnapped by North Korea (AFVKN)) and the National Association for the Rescue (of Japanese Kidnapped by North Korea (NARKN)) for coming to the Prime Minister’s Office together today. In particular, I renew my gratitude to Mr. ARIMOTO Akihiro and Ms. YOKOTA Sakie, who I heard fell ill last year, for taking the trouble of coming all the way here.
We have just received an action policy from you all. We will take the content of the action policy to heart, and I intend to put further effort into tackling the abductions issue, with a strong resolve to settle it with my own hands by all means. When I see how you all have come here together, I strongly feel your sense of urgency again. Now is the time to boldly change the status quo, and under my leadership as Prime Minister, we will do everything within our power on a government-wide basis. Let me reiterate such determination.
I believe that I myself must act proactively, in order to dispel distrust between Japan and North Korea and paint a bright future for both sides. I deem it important to build a relationship between the leaders of the two sides. From this perspective, I have repeatedly stated that we will advance high-level consultations that report directly to me for early realization of summit-level talks with Chairman Kim Jong-un, with a view to resolving outstanding issues of concern.
Going forward, we will continue to convey to the North Korean side my determination to resolve pending issues between Japan and North Korea, so that both sides will carve out a new era together.
We take a new message included in the latest action policy seriously. I myself take your earnest wishes to heart and renew my strong determination. With such resolve, I will go all out to tackle the issue. I would like to seek your continued guidance.”


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