TOKYO: Japanese Prime Minister SUGA Yoshihide has expressed his intention to work with US President Joe Biden in an effort to resolve the issue of Japanese nationals abducted by North Korea decades ago.
On his meeting with Biden slated for April 16 at the White House, Suga said, “I’ll explain to him directly how important the abduction issue is for Japan, seek his understanding and work in cooperation to resolve the issue.”
He was speaking at a meeting with family members of abduction victims at the prime minister’s office on Wednesday.
Suga said the abduction issue is the most important policy challenge for his cabinet.
“Japan needs to take proactive action. I’m resolved to meet North Korean leader Kim Jong Un face to face with no preconditions,” he said, expressing his determination to do his best to bring all abduction victims back home at an early date.
At the meeting, Sakie Yokota, mother of Megumi, who was abducted in 1977 at age 13, called on the government to make efforts toward a solution by setting a deadline. “I want (the government) to make all-out efforts to rescue the abductees,” she said.
The meeting was joined by Chief Cabinet Secretary Katsunobu Kato, who also serves as minister in charge of the abduction issue.