The five appeared in front of their families with modest smiles on their faces.
At 2:34 p.m. on October 15, 2002, this magazine reported on the “temporary return” of the five abductees from North Korea to Japan for the first time in 24 years. (The following quote is from the November 1, 2002 issue.
Prime Minister Fumio Kishida, who took office as prime minister on October 4, has been enthusiastic about resolving the abduction issue as his top priority. North Korea, however, has not abandoned its stance that the issue has already been resolved with the temporary return of the five abductees in 2002. What is the essence of the problem that the two countries continue to argue over? Let us take a look back at what this magazine reported at the time.
Some were crying in the arms of their families, while others shed tears in depression. Some family members said they were afraid to see him until just before the reopening, but this must have been a happy moment at least.
The return of the abductees to Japan was made possible through the Japan-North Korea summit meeting between Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi and North Korean leader Kim Jong-il. The people of Japan warmly welcomed the five abductees who landed at Haneda Airport: Yasushi Jimura, Fumie Hamamoto, Kaoru Hasuike, Yukiko Okudo, and Hitomi Soga.
“It’s a good time.
However, there was another side to the story. When Kaoru Hasuike’s older brother Toru asked his younger brother about the situation at the time of the abductions, he reportedly replied, “I’m fine now.
Kaoru said, “It’s okay for now. Let’s talk about it later.
At the time, intellectuals commented on the reaction of the returned victims and the dark side of North Korea.
No matter how liberated they feel in their homeland, they are unlikely to give any important testimony on this temporary return.
Later, the Japanese government refused to send the five abductees back to North Korea at the request of public opinion and the abductees’ family associations. On the other hand, there has been no significant progress in Japan-North Korea relations since their “temporary return” in October 2002. It is hoped that “dialogue without conditions” between Prime Minister Kishida and Kim Jong-un will be realized to resolve the long-standing issue.
Photo： Kyodo News Agency