Japan-North Korea Relations

 

December 28, 2018

Abduction Victims Identified by the Government of Japan

The following is an outline of the cases related to the 17 abductees identified by the Government of Japan (GoJ) (information in brackets shows the age when abduction took place and the location where the abductee went missing). With the recognition that there are other cases where the possibility of an abduction by North Korea cannot beruled out, the GoJ remains fully committed to demand North Korea take action to assure the safety of all abductees and their immediate return to Japan, regardless of whether they are officially identified as victims of abduction by North Korea or not.

(Red) : North Korea claims the death of the abductees.
(Orange) : North Korea denies the abductees entered its territory.
(Blue) : Returned to Japan.

1 (North Korea denies the victims entered the country.)
Photo of Mr. Yutaka Kume

September 19, 1977
Ushitsu Case
Mr. Yutaka Kume (52, Ishikawa Prefecture)

Disappeared off the coast of Ushitsu, Ishikawa Prefecture. His whereabouts are unconfirmed. (North Korea denies he entered its territory.)

2 (North Korea denies the victims entered the country.)
Photo of Ms. Kyoko Matsumoto

October 21, 1977
Suspected Abduction Case Involving a Woman
Ms. Kyoko Matsumoto (29, Tottori Prefecture)

Disappeared on her way to a knitting school close to her home. Her whereabouts are unconfirmed. (North Korea denies she entered its territory.)

3 (North Korea claims the death of the victim.)
Photo of Ms. Megumi Yokota

November 15, 1977
Suspected Abduction Case Involving a Girl
Ms. Megumi Yokota (13, Niigata Prefecture)

Disappeared on her way home from school in Niigata city. Her whereabouts are unconfirmed. (North Korea claims she committed suicide.)

4 (North Korea denies the victims entered the country.)
Photo of Mr. Minoru Tanaka

In or around June 1978
Suspected Abduction Case Involving a Former Restaurant Worker
Mr. Minoru Tanaka (28, Hyogo Prefecture)

Disappeared after departing Japan for Europe. His whereabouts are unconfirmed. (North Korea denies he entered its territory.)

5 (North Korea claims the death of the victim.)
Photo of Ms. Yaeko Taguchi

In or around June 1978
Suspected Abduction Case of Lee Un-
Hae
Ms. Yaeko Taguchi (22, unknown)

Her whereabouts are unconfirmed. (North Korea claims she died in a traffic accident.)

6 (Returned to Japan.)
Photo of Mr. Yasushi Chimura
Photo of Ms. Fukie Chimura

July 7, 1978
Suspected Abduction Case Involving a Couple
Mr. Yasushi Chimura (23, Fukui Prefecture)
Ms. Fukie Chimura (Maiden name Hamamoto) (23, Fukui Prefecture)

Disappeared after going out stating that they were going on a date. The couple returned to Japan in October 2002.

7 (Returned to Japan.)
Photo of Mr. Kaoru Hasuike
Photo of Ms. Yukiko Hasuike

July 31, 1978
Suspected Abduction Case Involving a Couple
Mr. Kaoru Hasuike (20, Niigata Prefecture)
Ms. Yukiko Hasuike (Maiden name Okudo) (22, Niigata Prefecture)

Mr. Kaoru Hasuike disappeared after he went out stating that he was going out and would soon be back. Similarly, Ms. Yukiko Okudo disappeared after going out. The couple returned to Japan in October 2002.

8 (North Korea claims the death of the victim.)
Photo of Mr. Shuichi Ichikawa
Photo of Ms. Rumiko Masumoto

August 12, 1978
Suspected Abduction Case Involving a Couple
Mr. Shuichi Ichikawa (23, Kagoshima Prefecture)
Ms. Rumiko Masumoto (24, Kagoshima Prefecture)

Disappeared after going out, stating that they were going to see the sunset on the beach. Their whereabouts are unconfirmed. (North Korea claims that each of the couple died of a heart attack while swimming in the ocean.)

9 (Returned to Japan. / North Korea denies the victims entered the country.)
Photo of Ms. Hitomi Soga
Photo of Ms. Miyoshi Soga

August 12, 1978
Suspected Abduction Case Involving a Mother and a Daughter
Ms. Hitomi Soga (19, Niigata Prefecture)
Ms. Miyoshi Soga (46, Niigata Prefecture)

Disappeared after going out, stating that they were going shopping. Ms. Hitomi Soga returned to Japan in October 2002. The safety of Ms. Miyoshi is unknown. (North Korea denies she entered its territory.)

10 (North Korea claims the death of the victim.)
Photo of Mr. Toru Ishioka
Photo of Mr. Kaoru Matsuki

In or around May 1980
Suspected Abduction Case Involving Japanese Males in Europe
Mr. Toru Ishioka (22, Europe)
Mr. Kaoru Matsuki (26, Europe)

Both disappeared during their stay in Europe. Their whereabouts are unconfirmed. (North Korea claims that Mr. Ishioka has died in a gas accident and that Mr. Matsuki died in a traffic accident.)

11 (North Korea claims the death of the victim.)
Photo of Mr. Tadaaki Hara

Mid-June 1980
Sin Kwang-Su Case
Mr. Tadaaki Hara (43, Miyazaki Prefecture)

Disappeared in Miyazaki Prefecture. His whereabouts are unconfirmed. (North Korea claims he died of cirrhosis of the liver.)

12 (North Korea claims the death of the victim.)
Photo of Ms. Keiko Arimoto

In or around July 1983
Suspected Abduction Case Involving a Japanese Woman in Europe
Ms. Keiko Arimoto (23, Europe)

Disappeared in Europe. Her whereabouts are unconfirmed. (North Korea claims that she died in a gas accident.)

Locations where abductees disappeared.

 

883 Other Cases of Missing Persons in Which the Possibility of Abduction by North Korea Cannotbe Ruled Out

In addition to the 17 Japanese citizens already identified as having been abducted by North Korea, the possibility of abduction by North Korea cannot be ruled out for 883 other missing persons (as of October 1, 2018). The GoJ has been conducting information gathering and investigation activities both in Japan and overseas.(Image) Map of Locations where abduction victims disappeared

Korean Domicile Victims Abducted in Japan

In April 2007, the police concluded that the disappearances in 1973 of Ko Kyonmi and Ko Kang, infant brother and sister and Koreandomiciles, were due to abduction by North Korea.
The GoJ views all abductions as serious human rights violations regardless of nationality as well as violations of the sovereignty ofJapan. Accordingly, the GoJ urges North Korea to return the abductees to Japan as a return to their original state and also urges thatNorth Korea obtain a full account of what happened to all abductees

The GoJ has been making concerted efforts to urge North Korea to return all the abductees, regardless of whether they are officially identified as such, back to Japan immediately.