World, Americas, Asia - pacific

In Trump-Kim bonhomie, Japan seeks its pie

Japan alleges Pyongyang behind abduction of its citizens, Tokyo seeking Trump’s help to get them back

20.02.2019
In Trump-Kim bonhomie, Japan seeks its pie

By Riyaz ul Khaliq

ANKARA

Japan is hopeful that U.S. President Donald Trump will help it in settling the abduction issue with North Korea.

Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe said on Wednesday that he will coordinate with Trump on efforts to settle the issue of abductions of Japanese people by North Korea, the Mainichi newspaper reported.

“I want to closely coordinate our policies [with Trump] to resolve the issues of North Korea's nuclear, missile and, most importantly, abduction,” the daily quoted Abe as saying in his address to Japanese parliamentary committee.

“The Abe administration will decisively take action not to miss out any opportunity,” he added.

Tokyo officially considers 17 Japanese people were abducted by the North Korea in the 1970s and 1980s, and suspects the country's involvement in many more disappearances, the report said.

“Five of the 17 returned home in 2002, but Pyongyang maintains that eight died and the other four were never in the country.”

Tokyo and Pyongyang do not share normal diplomatic relations as a result of the alleged abductions.

Koreas were a colony of Japan until the late 1940s when the Korean peninsula declared independence but was divided.

The statement by Japanese premier comes a day after he met with family members of Japanese abduction victims.

Abe and Trump are scheduled to speak over phone later today.

U.S. president raised the abduction issue with Kim for the first time in Singapore last June, according to the Japanese daily.

Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong-un are set to meet for second summit next week in the Vietnamese capital Hanoi. The duo will discuss denuclearization of Korean peninsula and lifting of sanctions on Pyongyang.

Trump usually brags about his “relationship” with Kim saying “we fell in love”.

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