“30 More Kidnapped Japanese”

[imText1]The Japanese paper Yomiuri reported on the 6th that the Japanese police, while investing missing people, uncovered evidence for 30 more kidnapped Japanese.

The paper, while investigating whether or not Ms. Watanabe Hideko (32 years old at the time) and her two children were kidnapped in Tokyo, found evidence that approximately 30 additional people were also kidnapped by North Korea.

According to the paper, the related parties of the company where Watanabe’s Jochongryun (General Association of North Korean Residents in Japan)-affiliated husband worked commented during the police investigation that “30 more were kidnapped in addition to the two children.”

The Japanese police discovered that a woman (age 59) of Japanese nationality, who intervened in the kidnapping, worked with Watanabe’s husband at the trade company “Universe Training” (located in Tokyo).

However, the paper reported that most of those who testified to the additional kidnappings returned to North Korea after Universe Training shut down its business in 1978, so the police were not able to verify additional kidnap victims.

The Japanese authorities believe that Watanabe was murdered after being kidnapped and her two children were taken to North Korea around May or June of 1974. In the case that these testimonies are indeed true, the official number of kidnapped Japanese will reach 47 from 17.

If the Japanese government acknowledges them as kidnap victims, Japan-North Korea relations will face yet another difficulty. Currently, the Japanese government did not participate in the remuneration towards North Korea in the six-party talks due to the issue of the unresolved kidnapping.