Japanese schoolgirl kidnapped by North Korea 34 years ago is reported alive

Megumi Yokota, who was abducted by North Korea agents as she made her way home from school in 1977, was previously reported by the communist state to have committed suicide 16 years ago.

However, Park Sun-young, a member of South Korea’s opposition Liberty Forward Party, told media that a North Korean defector has made a videotaped testimony confirming that Ms Yokota is still alive.

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US presses Japan to act soon on child abduction cases

A senior US official pressed Japan on Wednesday to act in the coming months to address concerns by US parents over child abductions, warning of rising anger by lawmakers against the ally.

Japan said in September that it was seriously considering signing the international treaty to stop child abductions, although officials said it may take time as the nation would need to change domestic laws.

"It’s going to be important that we see progress soon on this issue. There is a building degree of anxiety — and in some places anger — on Capitol Hill," said Kurt Campbell, the assistant secretary of state for East Asia.

Calling himself a "strong supporter" of the alliance with Japan, Campbell asked the country both to sign the Hague treaty and to deal "responsibly and humanely" with pending cases.

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