Who is Megumi Yokota?

Sunday, August 20, 2006
I'm curious: how many of our readers are aware that North Korea has been abducting Japanese citizens?

Abduction: the Megumi Yokota Story is about one of these, a 13 year old girl.

Megumi's familiy still don't know what happened to her since she was taken to North Korea, by the way.


MeaninglessHotAir said...

Yep, I knew it.

CF said...

Me, too.

patrick said...

Please forgive me if I go on and on about this movie . I know it is a subject that I cannot view without bias , but I believe this is one of the most important documentaries ever made , and as a piece of film work , it stands alone . All of the understanding of and frustration with Japanese laws , abduction , and all that is being a left behind parent from an abduction ...is my life today .
The movie starts out with a note ... from the mother addressed to Megumi , expressing a very deep and hopeless level of the worst feeling and painfull acceptance .... "I can no longer come and get you "
It makes me cry to even type this . I can identify completely with the Yokotas feeling at the point where they wrote that , and it is definitely the same for those of us who can not see our children in Japan today .

Then the story of the day she was abducted is unfolded beautifully . The whole movie is interlaced with powerful sublime images of slow-motion waves in the ocean , blowing fields of grass , time-lapse shots of traffic , sunrises , cloudy skies , and the silhouette of Mount Fuji . Chris and Patti's brilliant use of these simple images as metaphors , many in slow motion , transcends any use of symbolism I have ever seen in a movie before . There is an amazing use of traditional and relatively contemporary Japanese music , Taiko , and vocals as well . All in all ...extremely powerfull and evocative .
Then in our search for trying to connect some spiritual meaning or understanding to the tragedy that abduction is , the Yokotas , end at an old Japanese saying .... "spirited away by god " .
The time ticks by ... 20 years of pain and loss ...until an investigator by the name of Ishidaka comes upon the facts . The Yakotas now think that it should be easy and the government will now help them get their precious child back , since they now know where their daughter is ....
Even armed with this new information from a now defected North Korean agent involved in the same organization as Megumi and several others were kidnapped in to , the Yokotas find they are facing a task bigger than any 2 people can surmount . And with this knowledge of the real story of the abduction , the government does nothing for 10 more years !
In spite of his cold blooded duties and training as a spy , the Korean agents lament is sadness ....for depriving good parents of their daughter .
The Yokotas and left-behind families realized they were alone in their struggle to get their daughter and loved ones back , no governmental help , and no way to accept the loss and just go on with their lives . they were even divided on what God could or would do for them . They found it incredible that people didnt pay attention . and much like I did at the first realization of the existance of this documentary movie , and in full knowledge of the impossible bureaucratic lock they and I were caught in , they stood around on the streets and handed out flyers to strangers in a desperate plea for awareness in the general public .
But after 10 years of governmental knowledge , and after the Yokotas collected 3 million signatures on petitions ... the government decides to take action . and Koizumi is the man at the helm . A governmental parlimentary commitee was even formed . The video of Koizumi telling North Korea that progress in the area of normalization between the 2 countries CAN NOT proceed without resolution of the abduction issue , leaves me speechless .... because of the hipocracy Japan shows to the world , America ,and to me personally in their refusal to sign the Hague Convention Treaty , and return my daughter ... but like the Yokotas and other left-behind parents have found out the hard way , no one else seems to notice .
My hat is off to Koizumi for his courage to take such a strong position on an issue of such incredible consequences ie. nuclear arms , military , and etc... , but my question to him is What about all of the thousands of left behind parents from all over the world , whose children have been kidnapped and taken to Japan ?
Eventually , Koizumi gets the dead or alive list of the abductees from kim jong il (sp). And the living abductees are returned to Japan . The families of the "dead" abductees at first try to find closure ... but soon realize that the information provided could be phony ... and we are all human and live in hope for the best ... but time keeps ticking and there is no way to replace those lost days with your child , and eventually some grow old and die without ever seeing their child again . This is the most tragic outcome . But those who are left behind and still alive 30 years later, continue the fight for the truth and the return of their loved ones . And they have to work hard every day to not be depressed . In the case of the left-behind Yokotas an unbelievably bittersweet legacy is revealed ... they have an un-reachable grand-daughter in North Korea .
the movie ends with a parents list of wishes for their abducted child .
and the prose "taken from a homeland , where they were happy".

The entire story is told as a human story about an ordinary banker who has a love of nature and the world , and a housewife who is a calligrapher who aree thrown into a tragedy with huge political dimensions.
This is an inspired and touching work , and should win many awards , and be seen the world-over .
Patrick B.