Monday, April 09, 2007


One of the people in our film, Mr. Teruaki Masumoto, was in Romania last week meeting with the family of a woman who is believed to have been kidnapped by North Korea in 1978. This is a new development since the Romanians are now starting to take an interest in the possibility that their citizens were kidnapped as well. For those of you who speak Japanese, check out this news report on his visit.

For all others, here's a Kyodo News item on the visit:

Relative of Japan abductee meets kin of suspected Romanian abductee

(Kyodo) _ A relative of a Japanese national abducted by North Korean agents met in Romania on Thursday family members of a Romanian woman suspected of being another victim of North Korean abductions.
Teruaki Masumoto, secretary general of a group of relatives of Japanese abductees, and a supporter of the group met the mother and younger brother of Doina Bumbea, who went missing in Rome in 1978.

At the meeting in Craiova in southern Romania, Masumoto said, "Let's fight together to return all the victims," while Bumbea's brother Gabriel responded, "I would like to use all my might to get a resolution."

Tsutomu Nishioka, deputy representative of a group supporting the abductees' relatives, invited the Romanian family to join a gathering in Japan to be held later in the month aimed at rescuing the abductees. Gabriel said he would like to go.

Repatriated Japanese abductee Hitomi Soga, 47, and her American husband Charles Jenkins, 67, have said that they met a woman who called herself "Doina" when they were in Pyongyang and that she died from a disease in 1997.

A Romanian newspaper said last month she was abducted to North Korea, based on statements by her brother and others.

Bumbea's mother Petra, 77, wiped her tears when she heard from Nishioka that Soga told him that the woman called Doina was good at cooking and sewing.

Masumoto, whose elder sister Rumiko was abducted by North Korea in 1978, is also planning to call for a resolution of the abduction issue at the Romanian Foreign Ministry in Bucharest on Friday.

Rumiko was among the 13 Japanese North Korea admitted in 2002 to abducting in the late 1970s and early 1980s. She is also among the eight claimed by North Korea to have already died -- a claim rejected by their families and the Japanese government.

Soga was among the other five repatriated in 2002. In North Korea, she married Jenkins, who deserted from the U.S. military and crossed the border from South to North Korea during the Cold War.


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