What's the Abduction Issue?
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Abduction of Japanese Citizens by North Korea


Between about 1970 to 1980, there were a string of incidents involving the abduction of Japanese citizens by North Korea. The Government of Japan has currently identified 17 Japanese citizens abducted by North Korea.

In September 2002, North Korea acknowledged that Japanese citizens had been abducted, and five abductees returned to Japan in October of that year. North Korea has not, however, offered adequate explanations for the fate of the rest of the Japanese abductees. North Korea insists that the abduction issue has been resolved. The North Korean position, however, leaves many questions unanswered, and the GoJ considers it to be unacceptable.

The abduction of Japanese citizens is a matter of grave concern that affects the national sovereignty of Japan and the lives and safety of the Japanese people. Until this issue is resolved, there can be no normalization of relations with North Korea. Among all the issues that remain unresolved between Japan and North Korea, the GoJ places the highest priority on the abduction issue, and is making every effort for its resolution.

More on the Abduction Issue

Individual Cases - 17 Abductees Identified by the GoJ

To date, the GoJ has identified 12 separate incidents involving a total of 17 Japanese citizens abducted by North Korea.

Other Possible North Korean Abduction Cases

In addition to the abductees already identified by the GoJ, there are missing person cases involving people who might have been abducted by North Korea.

Individuals Abducted from Other Countries

Countries other than Japan are also dealing with cases of possible abduction by North Korea.

Learn More About the Abduction Issue

Why would North Korea abduct citizens of other countries? Why hasn’t the abduction issue been resolved yet?