Relatives of Japanese abducted by N.Korea say they obtained US understanding

Relatives of Japanese nationals abducted by North Korea have returned from their visit to the United States. They said they were able to obtain the understanding of US government officials and lawmakers toward resolving the abduction issue.

The relatives visited Washington from Monday to seek US support to bring all the remaining abductees back to Japan.

The group included Yokota Takuya, whose sister Megumi was abducted in 1977 at the age of 13, and Iizuka Koichiro, whose mother Taguchi Yaeko was abducted when he was one-year-old.

They also called on the Japanese government not to drop the demand to bring home the remaining abductees all together.

During their stay in Washington, the group met with high-ranking US government officials, including Mira Rapp-Hooper of the National Security Council and Uzra Zeya, the State Department's Under Secretary for Civilian Security, Democracy, and Human Rights, as well as members of both chambers of Congress.

Back in February, the group decided it will not oppose Japan lifting its own sanctions on North Korea if Pyongyang returns all the abductees while their parents are alive.

The group said it explained this stance to the US side and obtained their understanding.

Yokota told reporters at Tokyo's Haneda Airport on Saturday that many people they met showed understanding toward the family members' agony and told them America stands by them.

He also said the group managed to convey the message that the abduction issue is a human rights problem which has a time limit for a resolution.

Yokota called on North Korean leader Kim Jong Un to act decisively to resolve the issue.