While tuning around the shortwave radio bands yesterday I came across an interesting station on 9950 KHz. It was broadcasting in Korean, but the signal was not that strong. One beneficial skill I’ve learned over the years from listening to shortwave radio is being able to tell what language is being spoken ( even though I don’t understand what is being said). I checked an online shortwave station guide, and the only station shown broadcasting at that time and on that frequency was a station out of Japan called “Nippon no Kaze” ( 日本の風) or “Wind of Japan“.
This was somewhat intriguing because I had never heard of the station before and it was also broadcasting from Japan! After a quick internet search, I found that it is a broadcast aimed at N. Korea to reach Japanese citizens who have been abducted. I found a website relating to the broadcast at the link below:
The webpage name in English is “Abductions of Japanese Citizens by North Korea” with an address in Chiyoda-ku, Tokyo. In Japanese it’s:
北朝鮮 (きたちょうせん): North Korea
による: because of, due to, by means of
日本人 (にほんじん) : Japanese people
拉致 (らち) : abduction, kidnapping
問題 (もんだい) : problem
So you can see in the URL (www.rachi.go.jp) the word rachi (らち), written in kanji it’s 拉致 and means abduction.
Brief information about the broadcast taken from the website is shown below.
“This program is provided by the Japanese government through shortwave radio broadcast to the Japanese abductees who are still kept captive in North Korea.
Its content, updated weekly, includes information on concrete measures of the government to resolve the abduction issue, situation surrounding North Korea, messages from families and friends of the abductees, as well as familiar Japanese songs.
The program is broadcasted in Japanese (titled “Furusato no Kaze”) and Korean (titled “il bon ue baram(Nippon no Kaze)”) during the following hours and frequencies from Monday to Sunday.”
Information on the website says that the Government of Japan has identified 17 abductions stretching from 1977 to 1983 taking place either in Japan or Europe. Below is a map showing the location of the abductions.
Further reading mentions North Korean secret agents being involved. This is stuff you only see in movies or read in novels!
An interesting thing I came across on the website was information about an anime called “Megumi”. It says it’s a documentary anime on the abduction of Japanese citizens by North Korea. The name of the anime comes from a 13 year old Japanese girl named Megumi Yokota who was abducted on her way home from school by North Korean agents in 1977. The anime is 25 minutes long and describes the ordeal her family experienced. You can access the anime from the website in Japanese as well as other languages.
The website says the anime is free and can be copied and also that “In principle, no permission is required to link to this website. Reproduction of the contents of this website is permitted.“
I feel their pain. If someone I loved was abducted and you never heard from them again that would be a terrible thing to go through. They are just trying to get the word out, but based on what I’ve seen and read about North Korea I wouldn’t have much hope that they will return the abductees (if they are even still alive).