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Towards the immediate Rescue of All Abductees! North Korean Human Rights Abuses Awareness Week Essay Competition 2023 / Hosted by Headquarters for the Abduction Issue, Government of Japan Supportes by the Ministry of Justice,and the Ministry of Fotreign Affairs, and the Ministry of Education,Culuture,Sports,Science and Technology

Award-winning essay


High School Category 2nd Prize

Having A Go At The Problem of North

SUZUKI Toshiaki
10th grade, Seibudai Chiba High School

 46 years have passed since the North Korean Human Rights and Abduction of Japanese Citizens issue happened. How many people know of this issue and incident, and how many people are taking an interest in it? And do you know about the North Korean Human Rights Violations Public Awareness Week? I only had the faint recollection that something like that had happened. My assignment over summer break to think about it was the beginning. I saw the government countermeasures headquarters website and videos, as well as watched anime and read books. YOKOTA Megumi's voice shouting, "Dad! Mom!" in the anime "Megumi" remained constantly in my ears.  

 I have an older sister who was in the badminton club in middle school. My mother was born in 1977, the year that the abduction occurred. The keywords that come up somehow or other seem to link my family to the incident in a way that makes my chest feel hollow. It was inconceivable how foul, cruel, and heartbreaking it was. This problem is in the present progressive form. The people involved in the incident bear deep wounds, which rather than being healed, continue to bleed even now.  

 Next, I read the essays written by middle and high schools students up to now. Everyone thought as I do. Our generation's lack of understanding and awareness, and the fading of the abductions in our memories are the problem. The family association formed by the families of the victims is active all over Japan as well as abroad, devoting their energies to resolving the problem as urgently as possible. However, this historical, significant and international incident that happened in Japan is fading.  

 From here on, we must think of ways we can begin to address the issue. We can begin in a grassroots way, by studying about it in classes such as social studies and integrated studies. Sharing with peers in the classroom, and deepening awareness and understanding that way. And just like how there's a Human Rights Week, we should spread awareness of the North Korean Human Rights Violations Public Awareness Week I mentioned in the beginning widely. Combined with that, we could distribute blue ribbons to elementary, middle, high school and university students in Japan, heightening their awareness by having them wear it on their bodies. Besides this, making use of media and social networks and collaborations, etc., spreading information in a diverse way. information. We could start activities that go with the times. Any trivial thing is fine. It is necessary to see this and let it soak in that the North Korean Human Rights and Abduction of Japanese Citizens issue is still unresolved.  

 In Japan's history, on top of the accumulated hours of each person's life, we are alive. Through the kidnapping of Megumi from her beloved family 46 years ago, the lives of the whole family spun out of order, their peaceful daily life stolen from them. We cannot forget that the human rights we should protect everyone's individual existence and an indispensable right to have freedom and a happy life. We want this issue to be resolved immediately, for everyone to return to Japan, and for everyone to live and experience happiness. We ourselves want to better Japan and protect the smiles of the people important to us. The time for our generation to step up and address the problem of North Korea is now.

North Korean Human Rights Abuses Awareness Week Essay Competition 2023

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