Father to force Chimura to speak about 8 on dead abductee list

OBAMA, Japan, Nov. 28 Kyodo

Tamotsu Chimura, whose son Yasushi was abducted by North Korean agents in 1978 but is now back in Japan, said he will force his son to ”tell the truth” about eight Japanese abductees listed by Pyongyang as dead when his grandchildren come to Japan from the communist state.

”I guess he knows something, but he cannot say anything while his children remain (in the North) as ‘hostages.’ I’ll force him to tell the truth once his children come to Japan,” said Chimura, 75, in a recent interview with Kyodo News.

”Yasushi appears to be concerned about the eight Japanese and hopes that they are alive,” he said.

Chimura said Yasushi, 47, apparently wants the North Korean government to clarify the status of the eight. The father also said he will allow Japanese police to question his son about other Japanese abductees only after the reunion.

”I believe (Yasushi’s) comments are based on the North Korean account. The North would consider it rebellion or betrayal if he speaks (the truth),” Chimura said, adding that his son’s life could be in danger if he cooperates with a police investigation now.

Yasushi and his wife Fukie, 47, say they were abducted in July 1978 while they were gazing at the stars at an observatory on a hill near a beach in Obama, Fukui Prefecture. They later married in North Korea and have a 21-year-old daughter and two sons, aged 19 and 15.

Yasushi waited for his family to contact him for about three years after he was taken to North Korea, but later gave up and persuaded himself to follow whatever Pyongyang said, believing that the family already forgot about him, Chimura said.

Chimura said his son and daughter-in-law often speak to each other in Korean and that Fukie complains that the Japanese lifestyle is wasteful.

When Fukie saw plastic bottles being thrown away, she said that in the North, they repeatedly wash bottles for use and eventually sell them, according to Chimura.

The couple are also learning how to use computers and enjoy playing computer games, he said.

Chimura also said Yasushi always carries a picture of his mother Toshiko, who died in April before the long-waited reunion with her son, and never fails to offer prayers for her in front of a Buddhist altar at his home every morning.

”He often sees pictures of his mother and cries,” Chimura said.

The father said Yasushi looked nervous and fearful for a while after he arrived Oct. 15 for a homecoming visit, but he seems more relaxed nowadays and he looks the same as he did 24 years ago.

Chimura expressed gratitude to Yasushi’s friends for opening up his mind. ”(Yasushi) laughed loudly every time he met with his friends. He seems to have made up his mind on a permanent return (to Japan) in such an environment.”

COPYRIGHT 2002 Kyodo News International, Inc.

COPYRIGHT 2002 Gale Group

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