Prime Minister Kishida says he aims to realize summit talks with N.Korea

Prime Minister Kishida Fumio says he aims to hold a summit meeting with North Korea with support from the United States and the international community.

Kishida made the comment on Friday in a meeting in Tokyo with a group of the relatives of Japanese nationals abducted by North Korea.

The group recently visited the United States, and met with high-ranking US government officials and members of both chambers of Congress to ask for their support to solve the abduction issue as soon as possible.

The group included its leader 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.

The relatives told Kishida that the US officials said they would bring up the abduction issue at every opportunity.

Kishida said that when he visited the United States last month, President Joe Biden expressed strong support for efforts to solve the issue.

The prime minister told the relatives that he will step up calls on North Korea to hold a summit with help and understanding from the United States. He said that the government will work with the international community to continue high-level talks to realize a Japan-North Korea summit.

After the meeting, Yokota told reporters that the group is demanding the immediate return of all abductees. He said the group does not want the government to make concessions on the demand, and wants it to maintain strong negotiations with North Korea.