Yokota was on her way home from badminton practice at Yorii Junior High School in Niigata City. She was last seen leaving her friends at an intersection about 300 meters from the school's main gate.
Search uncovers no clues
Police believed Yokota had fallen victim to a crime, and launched a major search to find her.
The search failed to uncover a single clue to her whereabouts.
Shocking news from North Korea
Two decades after Yokota disappeared, her parents were informed that she was alive in North Korea. The Japanese government confirmed the information.
Pyongyang claims Yokota is dead
During the groundbreaking Japan-North Korea Summit in 2002, North Korea admitted it had abducted Yokota. Officials claimed she had subsequently taken her own life.
Irregularities in supporting documents submitted to the Japanese government raised suspicion that Yokota was still alive. Bones that North Korea presented as her remains in 2004 were shown by DNA analysis to be from another person.
Yokota has a daughter
It was revealed in 2002 that Yokota has a daughter named Kim Eun Gyong. A DNA test conducted in Japan confirmed that.
Yokota's 58th birthday
45 years have passed since Yokota's abduction. Her 58th birthday was in October.
Her father, Yokota Shigeru, campaigned for her return until he died in 2020 aged 87.
Yokota's mother Sakie turned 86 this year. While her husband died before a family reunion could take place, people in Japan hope that Yokota Sakie's yearning to see her daughter once again might one day be fulfilled.