The National Association for the Rescue of Japanese Kidnapped by North Korea (NARKN or the ‘Japanese Rescue Movement’) is a coalition of non-profit organizations based throughout Japan, which shares the common goal of rescuing the citizens abducted by North Korea. Since its first unified conference in Tokyo on April 1998, the NARKN has worked as the nation-wide association and is currently formed by local groups in 34 prefectures and one city (as of May 1, 2005).

NARKN is working shoulder to shoulder with the Association of the Families of Victims Kidnapped by North Korea (AFVKN or the ‘Family Members of Abductees’ headed by Chairman Shigeru Yokota) which is composed by the family members of abductees. Together the two organizations are making efforts to bring back all the abductees and their family members still held in North Korea.

In October 2002, the Japanese government officially confirmed the number of the Japanese victims of being fifteen, adding Hitomi Soga and her mother Miyoshi Soga. In April 2005, the government further acknowledged Minoru Tanaka as the sixteenth victim adding his name to the list of missing. Including these sixteen citizens, the NARKN believes that there are at least twenty-three victims including Shoji Terakoshi, Sotoo Terakoshi, Takeshi Terakoshi, Kenzo Kozumi, Kimiko Fukutome, Kumiko Kato, and Ryoko Furukawa. The cases of these additional victims have been carefully investigated and confirmed through numerous information provided by reliable sources. However, according to a wider investigation report by the Investigation Commission on Missing Japanese Probably Related to North Korea (COMJAN which conducts research on ‘potential victims’ abducted by North Korea, NARKN’s sister organization), there is a possibility that more than one hundred Japanese people were kidnapped. (See the Abducted Victims List for further details).

Rescue of abductees is an outstanding issue not only for Japan but also for South Korea. The South Korean government has publicly announced 83,000 victims kidnapped by North Korea during the Korean War and an additional 486 victims after the war. Actual number of victims would be much higher than this official recognition. The families of the South Korean victims had also established an association in year 2000 and ever since the NARKN works together to rescue all victims—in two nations—kidnapped by North Korea.

Adding to this, active Japanese Parliamentarians have formed a non-partisan committee named the Committee of Congressional Members to Act for the Early Rescue of Japanese Victims Abducted by North Korea (Chaired by Rep. Tateo Hiranuma) and numerous local assemblymen have also formed a similar league (Chaired by Hiroyuki Tsuchiya, a member of Tokyo Metropolitan Assembly).

The NARKN is vigorously seeking not only the rescue of all the Japanese and South Korean abductees but the liberation of all the oppressed people in North Korea. We sincerely ask for your understanding and support.

Members of the NARKN Administrative Board

Chairman Katsumi Sato (President of The Modern Korea Institute, a conservative think tank) 

Permanent Vice Chairman Tsutomu Nishioka (Tokyo Christian University,

Professor of Korean Area Study)

Vice Chairman Yoichi Shimada (Fukui Prefectural University, 

Professor of International Politics)

Yoshiaki Fujino (Attorney)

Secretary General Ryutaro Hirata (Full-time administrator)