27th May 2023 – (Tokyo) Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida has expressed his willingness to meet with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un to address the longstanding issue of Japanese nationals who were abducted in the 1960s and 1970s, according to media reports. Kishida reportedly made the statement at a gathering in Tokyo focused on the abduction issue. He stated that he is determined to meet with Kim Jong Un directly, without any preconditions. Pyongyang admitted to abducting 13 Japanese citizens in 2002, with five abductees and their families returning to Japan later and saying that the others had died.
However, Tokyo believes that 17 Japanese were abducted and continues to investigate the fate of those who have not returned.