Monday, June 26, 2006

The Megumi Yokota story

Film on Japan abductee seeks to raise awareness
TOKYO (Reuters) - The American makers of a documentary about a Japanese girl kidnapped by North Korean agents hope that telling her story will bring her plight, and those of other abductees, to a wider audience around the world.

Megumi Yokota, who disappeared on her way home from school in 1977 at the age of 13, has become the iconic face of Japanese citizens abducted by Pyongyang's agents to help train spies during the 1970s and 1980s.

But a meeting in April between Megumi's mother, Sakie, with President Bush in Washington was barely mentioned in U.S. media, despite saturation coverage in Japan.

"We just felt that this was a story that had to be told, especially in North America, because most people in North America have never heard of it," said Chris Sheridan, who with his wife Patty Kim produced "Abduction: The Megumi Yokota Story," set to be shown to the abductees' families on Tuesday.

"It's just completely shocking, and most people can't believe that that would happen. In fact, most people didn't believe that it happened."

North Korean leader Kim Jong-il admitted in 2002 that 13 Japanese had been abducted. Five were repatriated in 2002 and Pyongyang says the other eight, including Yokota, are dead.

I hope this movie comes to Des Moines. I'd like to see it. I can't imagine what her mom and dad have had to endure all these years. North Korea's government is truly, truly evil. I grieve for all people trapped behind its borders.

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