Courtesy Call on Mr. Taro Aso, Minister for Foreign Affairs, by the Families of Abductees and Others from Japan, Romania, and Thailand

April 24, 2007

On April 23 (Mon), families of abductees and others from Japan, Romania, and Thailand, paid a courtesy call on Mr. Taro Aso, Minister for Foreign Affairs.  The gist is as follows.

  1. Mr. Aso stated that this year marks the 10th year of the formation of the Association of the Families of Victims Kidnapped by North Korea (AFVKN), and that thanks to the families’ dedicated efforts up to this point, Japanese nationals’ understanding of the abduction issue has deepened, and international cooperation for the resolution of the issue has been strengthened.  Mr. Aso also said that cooperation with the international community including Romania and Thailand is essential to solve this issue.
  2. In response, Mr. Shigeru Yokota stated that the Association invited the families from Romania and Thailand to Japan because solving the issue required international cooperation at both governmental and non-governmental levels.
  3. After that, the family member from Romania mentioned that although the abduction issue is not of particularly high interest in Romania, he would like to continue to work on this issue and change the idea of the Government of Romania.  Also, the family member from Thailand stated that the efforts of the Government of Japan and the AFVKN and Japan’s National Association for the Rescue of Japanese Kidnapped by North Korea (NARKN) are their hope since not many people in the Thai society are interested in this issue.