top of page
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


To my helpless self

11th grade, Osaka Prefectural Suito Kokusai Junior & Senior High School

 "It is okay because Japan is at peace."

I think somewhere in the back of my mind I was thinking like that. No one can imagine that their beloved family would disappear the day after their birthday. However, that is what actually happened to Megumi Yokota and her family.

 Watching the anime "Megumi" triggered me to think deeply about the North Korea abduction issue. Even though I could not truly understand the heartache, I was able to put myself in their shoes. It is easy to imagine that both I and my family would suffer if my family became victims or if I became a victim myself. My mother also likes to take pictures and record her experiences, so there was an overlap with Megumi's father, who often took pictures. I felt from the bottom of my heart that this should never happen.

 "What do you think we should do to get them back?" When my teacher asked me, I thought even if a complete solution was difficult, I thought it was possible to take a step toward a solution or to prevent it. I have two ways to do this.

 The first is to build community ties. I think it is important to have local connections and watchful eyes in order to prevent not only abductions but also kidnappings. Ms. Megumi was abducted in a secluded place. A system that notifies people that they have left school when they return home may seem a bit cumbersome, but I thought it would be good to utilize such a system as well, since we believe it also prevents incidents.

 The second is to communicate the information without letting it fade away. I think that the fading away of the incident is the worst thing that can happen to the victims' families and in terms of the prevention of future incidents. Megumi's brother also said, "The thing I fear the most is the fading away of the incident."

 Also, in "Megumi," what impressed me was Megumi's mother's comment, "I don't hold grudges against the North Koreans, I just want them back. Even with the abduction and missile issues, it is not okay to hate North Korea as a whole." Simply hating North Korea will not solve anything, and only time will pass. Since this is a problem between countries, I felt that it is important for the people of the country to raise their voices together. In addition, in"Megumi," I was also impressed by the fact that passersby ignored the flyers of the victims' families. We must not think that it is irrelevant, but think of it as if it were our own matter and raise our voices.

 It is easy to think that we cannot do anything because we are powerless. However, that will not change anything. It is important to actively communicate with local people and schools, to use systems to ensure safety, and to be very aware of the abduction issue and communicate it.

English Essay High School Category 1st Prize

North Korean Human Rights Abuses Awareness Week Essay Competition 2023 ​

bottom of page