News / Asia

UN Panel Hears from Relatives of Japanese Abucted by N. Korea

In this undated photo released Nov. 17, 2004, by the Tokyo-based National Association for the Rescue of Japanese Kidnapped by North Korea, Megumi Yokota stands by a car at an unknown place in North Korea after her abduction from her hometown in Japan.
In this undated photo released Nov. 17, 2004, by the Tokyo-based National Association for the Rescue of Japanese Kidnapped by North Korea, Megumi Yokota stands by a car at an unknown place in North Korea after her abduction from her hometown in Japan.
VOA News
Relatives of Japanese citizens abducted by North Korea in the 1970s and 1980s urged a United Nations panel on Thursday to help step up efforts to find out more about those still missing.

The U.N. Commission of Inquiry that is investigating alleged human rights abuses in North Korea heard from several witnesses, including the parents of Megumi Yokota, who was abducted in 1977 at the age of 13.

Her 77-year-old mother, Sakie Yokota, told the panel that Megumi disappeared "like a puff of smoke," leaving her family in a tormented state that she said almost drove them mad.

Her father, 80-year-old Shigeru Yokota, said Pyongyang is the only one who knows how many Japanese were abducted. He pushed for the U.N. panel to pressure the North to release more information.

North Korea admitted in 2002 that it kidnapped some Japanese in order to force them to teach the Japanese language and culture to North Korean spies.

The North says all the abductees have since been returned or died. Many in Japan suspect Pyongyang is still hiding survivors and has abducted more people than it admits. The issue has become a major obstacle to Japan-North Korea relations.

The abductions are just one aspect of the many alleged human rights abuses being investigated by the three-member U.N. commission, which has been given a one-year mandate by the Security Council.

Earlier this week, it heard testimony from North Korean defectors about the conditions inside the North's prisons and labor camps, where as many as 200,000 people are thought to be held under abusive conditions.

Mike Kirby, who chairs the commission, has called for North Korea to participate in the investigation and provide open access to areas in question. North Korea has refused to recognize the panel. It also refuses to admit committing any human rights violations.

You May Like

Philippines, Muslim Rebels Try to Salvage Peace Pact

Peace process faces major setback after botched military operation to find terrorists results in bloody gunbattle between government forces, Moro Islamic Liberation Front fighters More

Republicans Expect Long, Expensive Presidential Battle

Political strategist says eventual winner will be one who can put together strongest coalition of various conservative groups that make up Republican Party More

Video New Wheelchair Is Easier to Use, Increases Mobility

Engineers have come up with a lever-operated design that makes use of easily accessible bicycle technology More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Liberia's Almost Last Ebola Patient Grateful but Still Grievingi
X
Benno Muchler
March 26, 2015 3:41 PM
Beatrice Yardolo was to make history as Liberia’s last Ebola patient. Liberians recently started counting down 42 days, the period that has to go by without a single new infection until the World Health Organization can declare a country Ebola-free. That countdown stopped on March 20 when there was another new case of Ebola, making Yardolo’s story a reminder that Ebola is far from over. Benno Muchler reports from Monrovia.
Video

Video Liberia's Almost Last Ebola Patient Grateful but Still Grieving

Beatrice Yardolo was to make history as Liberia’s last Ebola patient. Liberians recently started counting down 42 days, the period that has to go by without a single new infection until the World Health Organization can declare a country Ebola-free. That countdown stopped on March 20 when there was another new case of Ebola, making Yardolo’s story a reminder that Ebola is far from over. Benno Muchler reports from Monrovia.
Video

Video Cambodian Land Grabs Threaten Traditional Communities

Indigenous communities in Cambodia's Ratanakiri province say the government’s economic land concession policy is taking away their land and traditional way of life, making many fear that their identity will soon be lost. Local authorities, though, have denied this is the case. VOA's Say Mony went to investigate and filed this report, narrated by Colin Lovett.
Video

Video US, South Korea Conduct Joint Military Exercises

The Eighth U.S. Army Division and the Eighth Republic of Korea Mechanized Infantry Division put on a well orchestrated show of force for the media this week during their joint military training exercises in South Korea. VOA’s Seoul correspondent Brian Padden was there and reports the soldiers were well disciplined both in conducting a complex live fire exercise and in staying on message with the press.
Video

Video Space Program Status Disappoints 'Last Man on the Moon'

One of the films that drew big crowds last week at the annual South by Southwest festival in Austin, Texas, tells the story of the last human being to stand on the moon, U.S. astronaut Eugene Cernan. It has been 42 years since Cernan returned from the moon and he laments that no one else has gone there since. VOA’s Greg Flakus reports.
Video

Video Young Filmmakers Shine Spotlight on Giving Back

A group of student filmmakers from across the United States joined President Barack Obama at the White House this month for the second annual White House Student Film Festival. Fifteen short films were officially selected from more than 1,500 entries by students aged 6 through 18. The filmmakers and their families then joined the president and a group of celebrities for a screening of their films. VOA’s Julie Taboh reports.
Video

Video VOA Exclusive: Interview with Afghan President Ashraf Ghani

Afghan President Ashraf Ghani, during his first visit as president to Washington, gave a one-on-one interview with VOA Afghan Service reporter Said Suleiman Ashna, about his request for a change in U.S. troop levels, the threat from the Islamic State, and repairing relations with the United States and Pakistan. The interview was held at Blair House, late Sunday, in Pashto.
Video

Video California Science Center Tells Story of Dead Sea Scrolls

The ancient manuscripts were uncovered in the mid-20th century, and they are still yielding clues about life and religious beliefs in ancient Israel. As VOA's Mike O'Sullivan reports, an exhibit in Los Angeles shows how modern science is bringing the history of these ancient documents to life.
Video

Video Angelina Jolie Takes Another Bold Step

Hollywood actress and filmmaker Angelina Jolie has revealed she had her ovaries and fallopian tubes removed to lower her odds of getting cancer. Doctors say the huge publicity over her decision will help raise awareness about the importance of cancer screening. VOA’s George Putic has more

All About America

Circumventing Censorship

An Internet Primer for Healthy Web Habits

As surveillance and censoring technologies advance, so, too, do new tools for your computer or mobile device that help protect your privacy and break through Internet censorship.
More