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Abductees' kin disappointed with North Korea visit


Families of Japanese citizens abducted by North Korea have expressed disappointment about the government delegation returning from the North without any concrete explanations.

The families received a briefing from the government on Friday about the outcome of the talks between Japan's delegation and North Korean officials.

Abduction Issue Minister Eriko Yamatani told the families that North Korean officials explained they will conduct a new investigation without being limited by the outcome of past probes. She added that the government will consider what action to take to bring the abductees back.

The leader of the families' group, Shigeo Iizuka, said that he doesn't understand what North Korea means by "without being limited by the outcome of past probes."
He urged the government to analyze the North Korean statements to the delegation and take the next step.

The families later told reporters that chief delegate Junichi Ihara quoted the North as saying that their investigation into the abductions is in the initial stage.

Iizuka said some people within the government apparently consider the visit half a step forward, but he thinks North Korea is buying time.

Teruaki Masumoto said the late North Korean leader Kim Jong Il promised a reinvestigation in 2004. The North then provided what it claimed to be the remains of abductee Megumi Yokota but they turned out to be from someone else.

Kazuhiro Araki, the leader of a private group investigating the whereabouts of missing Japanese, says he is frustrated because the families of missing people had high hopes that the talks would help find their relatives.

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