A group for Japanese abductees' families and its supporting entity said Sunday in a new campaign policy that they would not oppose giving humanitarian aid to North Korea if it would lead to the return of all abductees.
The group, led by Takuya Yokota, brother of Megumi Yokota, who was abducted at age 13 in the 1970s, and the National Association for the Rescue of Japanese Kidnapped by North Korea, kept its long-held policy of seeking the immediate and collective return of Japanese nationals abducted by North Korea.
The policy of not opposing humanitarian assistance by the Japanese government to North Korea was also mentioned in their message directed at North Korean leader Kim Jong Un, they said. They have issued statements directed at the North Korean leader twice in the past.
"The Japanese government should be able to carry out humanitarian assistance to North Korea without deviating from the international sanctions framework imposed on North Korea," Takuya Yokota, 54, said at the groups' meeting in Tokyo, attended by 14 members of the abductees' families.
"I hope the government will seek negotiations with the North Korean side and engage in peace-building between the two countries," he said.
Sakie Yokota, the mother of Megumi, told a press conference after the meeting that she wants Prime Minister Fumio Kishida to hold a summit with the North Korean leader soon.
She said she hopes the premier "sends a message to North Korea suggesting that Japan wants to live in peace with North Korea."
"I am hoping that such a day would come as soon as possible," the 87-year-old said.
The campaign policy also read, "There is no resolution to the abductions issue without the families from the generations of the (victims') parents being able to hug the victims."
The groups said their members would visit the United States in May to call on the U.S. administration of President Joe Biden to lend support for the realization of a summit between Japan and North Korea.
Megumi is among 17 Japanese nationals the government officially lists as having been abducted by North Korea in the 1970s and 1980s. The government also alleges Pyongyang's involvement in many other disappearances.