Japan’s Iizuka, ex-head of N. Korea abductee kin group, dies at 83

Shigeo Iizuka, who served as the head of a team symbolizing family members of Japanese citizens abducted by North Korea in the 1970s and 1980s, died on Saturday. He was 83.

Final 7 days, Takuya Yokota, the young brother of abductee Megumi Yokota who is known as a symbolic determine between these taken by North Korea, assumed management of the group due to Iizuka’s very poor overall health.

Shigeo Iizuka (R), who heads a team of households of Japanese nationals abducted by North Korea, and Sakie Yokota, whose daughter Megumi was kidnapped in 1977 at age 13, go to a press meeting in Tokyo on Sept. 29, 2020, following meeting with Yoshihide Suga for the to start with time because he grew to become Japan’s new key minister before in the thirty day period. (Kyodo) ==Kyodo

A indigenous of Tokyo, Iizuka, whose sister Yaeko Taguchi was kidnapped by North Korea, headed the group from 2007, succeeding Yokota’s father Shigeru who was its initially leader.

Yokota’s sister Megumi was kidnapped though on her way property from university at the age of 13 in 1977, whilst Taguchi was kidnapped at age 22 in 1978.

Shigeru Yokota resigned owing to wellness explanations immediately after obtaining served as the group’s main for in excess of 10 many years until eventually November 2007. He died in June 2020 at the age of 87 without the need of at any time getting reunited with Megumi.

All through a conference with Primary Minister Fumio Kishida in Oct, Iizuka vowed to “in no way give up” on settling the challenge, saying, “It is disappointing that there has been no development in the abduction concern regardless of the many variations in primary ministers.”

The past abduction of Japanese citizens by North Korean brokers has been a important stumbling block for a peace treaty involving Tokyo and Pyongyang, along with the reclusive country’s nuclear and missile progress.

The Japanese governing administration formally lists 17 citizens as owning been abducted by North Korea and suspects Pyongyang’s involvement in other disappearances of Japanese nationals.

Of the 17, 5 had been repatriated in 2002 adhering to then Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi’s check out to North Korea. Even though Japan proceeds to request the return of the remaining 12, North Korea maintains that 8 have died and the other four by no means entered the region.

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January 2022
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