The White House
Office of the Press Secretary
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
May 28, 2019
REMARKS BY PRESIDENT TRUMP
AND PRIME MINISTER ABE OF JAPAN
IN MEETING WITH JAPANESE FAMILIES
OF THOSE ABDUCTED BY NORTH KOREA
May 27, 2019
2:27 P.M. JST
PRESIDENT TRUMP: Well, thank you very much. And this is my second meeting with the relations — great, great relations — brothers, sisters, mothers, fathers of the abductees. And I can tell you that it’s very much on my mind. I can also tell you for certain that it is your Prime Minister’s primary goal — there isn’t a meeting that we have where he doesn’t bring up the abductees.
And we will work together. You have a great Prime Minister. He loves this country. He loves you. And we will be working together to bring your relatives — your daughters, your sons, your mothers — home. And we’ll work on that together. Okay, Shinzo?
Their stories are very sad. And I must tell you, we’ve been hearing them and, in some cases, I’ve been hearing them for a second time — because the last time we were here, we did this, and it was an honor to do it and meet these incredible people.
You may just briefly say a word to the media about your mother and maybe about your daughter. And they’ll get just a little sampling of what we’re talking about. But I can see why your great Prime Minister feels so strongly about it. Please.
PRIME MINISTER ABE: (As interpreted.) Mr. President and Madam First Lady, thank you very much for spending time with the family members of those who have been abducted by North Korea. I am particularly grateful for your kind gesture that you showed by listening very carefully to their own stories of their family members.
President Trump did raise the abductions issue when he had the second summit meeting with Chairman Kim Jong Un in Hanoi. On that occasion, Mr. President also conveyed my perspectives on the relationship between Japan and North Korea. And I would like to tell the family members here that President Trump has been consistently taking into account the genuine feelings shared by the family members as Mr. President promotes his own foreign policy and foreign policy agenda on North Korea.
And I am convinced that President Trump has been making every effort to realize a resolution of the abductions issue. And since we have this precious opportunity, I would like to have some members, Mr. Arimoto and Mrs. Yokota, to share their stories with the media people.
PRESIDENT TRUMP: Go ahead, please.
MR. IIZUKA: (As interpreted.) Mr. President and Madam First Lady, thank you very much for taking your time, and also, thank you very much for very carefully listening to the stories that I shared with you about my own mother.
My mother has been separate from her son, as well as her family members, for the past 41 years old. And I sincerely hope that Mr. Prime Minister and Mr. President will break this deadlock that we see in the abductions issue so as to realize the return of my mother to Japan as soon as possible.
MRS. YOKOTA: (As interpreted.) Well, thank you very much, Mr. President and Madam First Lady. If I may reiterate my appreciation and deep, deep gratitude for your support to the pressing issue.
I would like to underscore that the fact that you are spending time, for the second time, with the family members of the abductees shows how serious you are for resolving the abductions issue.
And also, Mr. President, you did raise the abductions issue when you saw Chairman Kim Jong Un. And since then, we started to see some tangible or concrete progress toward the resolution of this issue for the first time in the history. So in that sense, we have the greatest trust in you, Mr. President, and also in Prime Minister Abe.
What we are (inaudible) toward this — not only the return of the abductees, but also, we would like to see toward peace. And if we are to see the resolution of the abductions issue, we will see peace in North Korea, and also, we will see that people in North Korea will be liberated from starvation or other sufferings that they have been experiencing until now.
So let us work together toward achieving a global peace, and I will share with you my aspiration for peace, as well as my commitment to global peace. And on this occasion, I would like to ask for your continuous support.
PRESIDENT TRUMP: Thank you very much.