The potential return of Japanese abductees taken by North Korea in the 1970s and 80s could lead to the return of many more people. The negotiations, sitting on a knife’s edge, are too important to mess up with rumour and politics, writes Tessa Morris-Suzuki.
On October 27, after months of behind the scenes negotiations, a delegation of Japanese officials flew to Pyongyang to push for the return of "perhaps hundreds" of Japanese citizens abducted by North Korean agents in the 1970s and 80s.
Two days of negotiations between the two countries have now ended. But while the talks are over, there is still hope that this decades-old issue can be solved.
Japan's Prime Minister Shinzo Abe has made resolving this issue one of the top priorities of his administration. But, the diplomatic push and shove needs to be handled delicately, for there are more than the lives of abductees at stake.
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Photo: "Potentially hundreds"; that's how many citizens Japanese authorities claim have been abducted by North Korea. by Gabriel Britto on flickr.