Danish Foreign Minister meets abductees' relatives

Danish Foreign Minister Jeppe Kofod has talked with relatives of Japanese abducted by North Korea. He offered cooperation to resolve the issue.

The meeting was held behind closed doors at the Tokyo residence of Denmark's ambassador on Wednesday.

Kofod referred to Arimoto Keiko, who went missing after the 23-year-old woman was seen at an airport in Copenhagen in 1983. He reportedly offered the country's cooperation for an early resolution of the abduction issue.

The relatives said their efforts have become a fight against time as they grow older. They asked for Denmark's support.

After the meeting, Yokota Sakie, whose daughter, Megumi, was abducted by North Korean agents in 1977, said she was grateful that the Danish minister wanted the meeting. She also said she hopes countries in the world will jointly demand North Korea settle the issue.

Iizuka Koichiro, the son of Taguchi Yaeko, who was kidnapped in 1978, also attended the meeting. He said he told Kofod that his mother could not watch him grow, and he is heartbroken. He also said he calls for Denmark's support.

The Japanese government says North Korean agents abducted at least 17 Japanese citizens in the 1970s and 1980s. Five returned to Japan in 2002. Twelve remain unaccounted for.