Rally held for Japanese woman abducted by North Korea 46 years ago

Family members of a Japanese woman abducted by North Korea 46 years ago have called on the Japanese government to resolve the issue as soon as possible.

A rally was held on Saturday in Niigata City on the Sea of Japan coast.

Yokota Megumi was abducted in the city while on her way home from school on November 15, 1977. She was 13 years old at that time.

Her father Shigeru died three years ago without ever reuniting with his daughter. Megumi's mother Sakie is now 87 years old.

Sakie, who took part in the rally online, said she has given speeches and collected signatures across the country, and has done everything possible, but the issue has still not been resolved.

She urged the government to seriously consider taking action and resolving the issue.

Megumi's 55-year-old brothers Takuya and Tetsuya also took part in the rally.

Takuya said his family can only remember how Megumi looked when she was 13 years old which he described as cruel.

He said his mother's dream is to have a moment with Megumi to look at clouds together and tell her "Finally, you're free."

He said her wish is simple, and that he cannot give up.

Soga Hitomi, who returned to Japan 21 years ago after being abducted by North Korea, also participated. She spoke about her mother Miyoshi, who was abducted with her but has not yet returned.

She said her mother will turn 92 years old next month, and she hopes Miyoshi will stay healthy and wait without giving up.

Soga called for help in getting all the abductees to return home and reunite with their families.

She said her hope is to take care of her mother once again.