© Reuters. FILE PHOTO: Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida arrives for a bilateral meeting with Laos’ President Thongloun Sisoulith, at the prime ministers’ office in Tokyo, Japan, Thursday, May 25, 2023. Shuji Kajiyama/Pool via REUTERS
By Kevin Buckland
TOKYO (Reuters) – Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida said on Saturday he was willing to meet North Korean leader Kim Jong Un to try and resolve the issue of Japanese nationals abducted in the 1960s and 1970s, media reported.
“I am determined to face Kim Jong Un directly myself, without any preconditions,” Kishida said at a gathering on the issue in Tokyo, the Mainichi Shimbun newspaper said. The and Kyodo news agency carried similar reports.
Pyongyang admitted in 2002 to kidnapping 13 Japanese citizens decades before. Five abductees and their families later returned to Japan, saying the others had died.
However, Tokyo believes 17 Japanese were abducted, and continues to investigate the fate of those who didn’t return, according to local media.
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