Vastavam web: It has been more than 30 years since the identical twin sister of Japanese teacher Misa Morimoto vanished, believed to have been abducted by North Korea. Hopes for her return have often surged and ebbed since, tracing the ups and downs of ties between Tokyo and Pyongyang. In 2002, North Korea admitted it had kidnapped 13 Japanese in the 1970s and 1980s to train them as spies. Five returned to Japan, though Tokyo suspects hundreds more may have been taken.
In 2014, Pyongyang promised new information about the Japanese it had kidnapped, but never made good on the pledge, shattering many relatives’ hopes. “Four years ago, we all expected everybody would soon come home, and we ended up despairing,” Morimoto told Reuters at the home where she grew up with her sister Miho in the central Japanese city of Kofu. Miho, who had ambitions of going to university, disappeared on June 4, 1984 after setting out for a library. Her motorbike was found at a nearby train station the next day and her handbag discovered on an isolated beach, 360 km (220 miles) away, near where two abductees were seized.
The agenda for the Trump-Kim summit is not known, although the U.S. president has said he hopes to start negotiating an end to North Korea’s nuclear weapons program. But Japan Prime Minister Shinzo Abe has urged Trump to keep the abductee issue, a key plank of the premier’s political program, central to the talks. Trump has met the families of abductees several times and brought up the issue in speeches. U.S. pressure could make a difference, Morimoto said, citing three U.S. citizens held in North Korea who were freed in May.For years, Morimoto has awaited word of her sister. A special education teacher with three grown children, she has just became a grandmother.