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For Families of Japanese Abducted by North Korea, Trump Visit Brings Spotlight

40年来,他们一直在等待被朝鲜绑架的亲人归来

TOKYO — Their stories are wrenching narratives of normalcy interrupted: the young couple taken while on a date at the beach, the single mother snatched on her way to pick up her toddlers after work, and the teenager who never made it home from badminton practice.

东京——他们的故事讲述了常态被打断的经历,令人揪心:一对年轻情侣在海滩上约会时被抓走;一个单身母亲在下班后去接咿呀学步的孩子的路上被掳走;一个少年练完羽毛球后再也没能回到家。

Four decades ago, according to the Japanese government, at least 17 Japanese citizens vanished at the hands of North Korea, leaving their families with precious little information. North Korea has acknowledged only that its agents abducted 13 Japanese in the 1970s and ‘80s. Five of them were returned home in 2002; North Korea has said the rest died long ago.

据日本政府称,至少有17名日本公民40年前被朝鲜政府掳走,几乎没有给他们的家人留下任何信息。朝鲜只承认自己的特工在七、八十年代绑架了13名日本人,其中5人在2002年被送回。朝鲜称,其他人早已去世。

The Japanese government insists otherwise, with Prime Minister Shinzo Abe repeatedly calling for North Korea to return the remaining abductees as part of his broader hawkish approach to the North.

日本政府坚持认为并非如此。对朝鲜总体上态度强硬的日本首相安倍晋三(Shinzo Abe)多次要求朝鲜送回剩下的被绑架人员。

Now President Donald Trump also plans to press the cause, meeting during a visit to Japan starting Sunday with several of the affected families, including the parents of Megumi Yokota, abducted by North Korea in 1977 when she was 13 years old.

现在,唐纳德·特朗普总统也计划推动此事。在周日开始访问日本期间,他接见了其中几个受影响的家庭,其中包括在1977年被朝鲜绑架的横田惠(Megumi Yokota)的父母。被绑架时,横田惠只有13岁。

Here in Japan, the tragic disappearances strike a deeper emotional chord than the fear of ballistic missile attacks, and have resonance akin to that of the fate of American prisoners of war during the Vietnam War. Interviews with family members regularly appear in the Japanese media, and the National Association for the Rescue of Japanese Kidnapped by North Korea raises hundreds of thousands of dollars a year.

在日本,这些令人悲痛的失踪事件在情感上扣人心弦的程度,超过了对遭受弹道导弹攻击的恐惧,引发的共鸣与越战期间美国战俘的命运类似。对受害者家人的采访频频出现在日本媒体上,“救出被北朝鲜绑架日本人全国协议会”(National Association for the Rescue of Japanese Kidnapped by North Korea)一年能筹集数十万美元的资金。

“The abductee issue pulls at the heartstrings of the general public in a way that no other issue can,” said Richard Samuels, a Japan specialist and the director of the MIT Center for International Studies. “Because it’s about innocent people.”

“被绑架人员问题牵动着民众的心弦,没有其他问题能与之相比,”日本问题专家、麻省理工学院国际研究中心(MIT Center for International Studies)主任理查德·塞缪尔斯(Richard Samuels)说。“因为它涉及无辜民众。”

Unlike others who have fallen prey to North Korea after traveling there, the kidnapped Japanese citizens were taken from their hometowns to train spies there, leaving families wondering for years if they had run away or been murdered.

不同于其他在去朝鲜后沦为牺牲品的人,被绑架的日本公民都是从他们的家乡被带去朝鲜培训间谍的。多年来,他们的家人一直想知道他们是否逃走了,或被杀害了。

Now, with family members getting older, they are desperate to secure their loved ones’ return.

现在,随着家人年岁渐长,他们迫切想看到亲人归来。

“This is a matter of life and death,” said Masaru Honma, 73, one of four living siblings of Yaeko Taguchi, a bar hostess and divorced mother who was kidnapped by North Korea 39 years ago. “There is a time limit.”

“这是一个生死攸关的问题,”73岁的本间胜(Masaru Honma)说。“时间有限。”他是39年前被绑架的酒吧服务员、离异母亲田口八重子(Yaeko Taguchi)四个仍在世的兄弟姐妹中的一个。

Honma said he and his family believe Taguchi — who would now be 62 — is still alive in North Korea. They occasionally get snippets of information from defectors, but their faith rests predominantly on the word of one woman: Kim Hyon-hui, a former North Korea spy who says Taguchi tutored her in Japanese language and culture so she could pass as Japanese while traveling abroad.

本间胜说,他和家人都认为,现在已经62岁了的田口八重子在朝鲜还活着。他们偶尔会从脱北者那里得到一些只言片语,但他们的信心主要来自一名女子的话:前朝鲜间谍金贤姬(Kim Hyon-hui)说,田口八重子辅导过她的日语和日本文化,这样她才能在国外冒充日本人。

When Kim visited Japan decades later in 2010, she met with Honma, along with another brother and Taguchi’s son. On the back of a photograph taken during that visit, Kim scrawled a cryptic message in slightly awkward Japanese: “Definitely welcome home.”

在几十年后的2010年来到日本时,金贤姬见到了本间胜和田口八重子的另一个兄弟以及她的儿子。在那次日本之行期间拍摄的一张照片的背面,金贤姬用略显生硬的日语潦草地写了一句神秘的话:“肯定欢迎回家。”

Kim, in an interview in Seoul, said she had wanted to give Taguchi’s family a thread of hope, and let them know that she believed the missing woman would someday make it home.

在首尔接受采访时,金贤姬说,她是想给田口八重子的家人一线希望,并让他们知道,她相信失踪的田口八重子终有一天会回到家。

Kim, a convicted terrorist who helped plant a bomb on a Korean Air Lines flight in 1987 that killed 115 people, was given a presidential pardon in South Korea, which has since used her for propaganda purposes and to provide information about the North.

金贤姬是一名被判有罪的恐怖分子,曾在1987年参与在大韩航空(Korean Air Lines)的一架航班上安放一枚炸弹,造成115人死亡。在韩国,她被总统特赦,之后一直被用来进行宣传,并提供有关朝鲜的信息。

She says that in the 1980s, she lived with Taguchi in Tongbuk-ri, south of Pyongyang, for almost two years. She has also said that she once met Yokota, the girl who was captured at 13, and that Yokota also had tutored another North Korean spy.

她说,在80年代,她和田口八重子一起在平壤南部的东北里(Tongbuk-ri)生活了近两年。她还说自己见过被绑架时只有13岁的姑娘横田惠一次,并且横田惠也辅导过另一名朝鲜间谍。

Kim says she has not seen either of the women for more than 30 years, but that does not matter to the victims’ families.

金贤姬说,这两个人她都30多年没见了;但对于她们的家人来说,这并不重要。

“Kim Hyon-hui said Yaeko is definitely alive,” said Honma. “Even though it’s been a long time since she last met Yaeko, her talk made us feel that she is still alive in North Korea.”

“金贤姬说田口八重子肯定还活着,”本间胜说。“尽管她最后一次见田口八重子是很久以前了,但她的话让我们觉得她在朝鲜还活着。”

In a recent interview in Seoul, where Kim traveled with five secret service escorts from her home in an undisclosed location in South Korea, she described how Taguchi gave her cultural pointers on table manners, makeup and hand gestures between July 1981 and March 1983.

最近在首尔接受采访时,金贤姬描述了田口八重子从1981年7月到1983年3月在餐桌礼仪、化妆和手势方面对她进行文化辅导的情形。金贤姬从她在韩国没有公开地址的家中来首尔时,由五名特工陪同。

North Korean authorities say Taguchi died in a car accident in 1986. But Kim said she had spoken to a driver who said he had seen Taguchi alive a year after that.

朝鲜当局称,田口八重子在1986年的一场车祸中去世。但金贤姬说,她和一名司机聊过,对方说在那一年后还见过田口八重子。

“I still believe they are alive,” Kim said of Taguchi and the other Japanese abductees. “Those who are compliant and just listen to the North Korean authorities are given basic necessities and treated as foreigners living in North Korea.”

“我依然相信他们还活着。”金贤姬说起八重子和其他日本被绑架人员,“听命于朝鲜官方的顺从者都能得到日常必需品,被当做在朝鲜生活的外国人对待。”

The North Korean government released five abductees in 2002 after Junichiro Koizumi, then Japan’s prime minister, went to Pyongyang for a summit meeting. It also provided death certificates — and in two cases, bones — for eight others whom the North admitted kidnapping in the 1970s and 1980s.

2002年,时任日本首相小泉纯一郎(Junichiro Koizumi)在前往平壤参加一场峰会之后,朝鲜政府释放了五名被绑架人员。朝鲜也提供了他们承认于1970年代和1980年代期间绑架的8名日本人的死亡证明,以及两份骨灰。

But the families say that the death certificates were faked and that DNA tests indicated the bones did not come from their loved ones. The Japanese government does not officially acknowledge their deaths.

但他们的家人认为死亡证明是伪造的,而DNA测试证明了骨灰并非来自他们的亲人。日本政府没有正式承认他们的死亡。

“I don’t think they would easily kill a precious diplomatic card like my sister or Yaeko Taguchi,” said Takuya Yokota, 49, a younger brother of Megumi Yokota.

“我觉得他们不会轻易杀死像我姐姐或者田口八重子这样宝贵的外交筹码。”横田惠的弟弟,现年49岁的横田拓也(Takuya Yokota)说。

Takuya Yokota and his twin brother were 9 when their 13-year-old sister disappeared from coastal Niigata. Takuya Yokota still recalls the day she did not come home from badminton practice, and how they helped their mother search for her as dusk fell.

13岁的横田惠在新潟海岸消失那年,横田拓也和他的双胞胎兄弟只有9岁。横田拓也仍然记得,那天她练完羽毛球后没有回家,黄昏时分,兄弟俩帮着母亲到处找她。

The Yokotas also met with Kim in 2010. “She could not say much because she was surrounded by South Korean intelligence and police,” Takuya Yokota said. “But she did tell my mother, ‘She’s all right, and you don’t have to worry.’” North Korea maintains Yokota committed suicide in 1994.

2010年,横田拓也同金贤姬见了一面,“她被韩国情报人员和警方包围着,能说的不多,”横田拓也说。“但她确实告诉我妈妈,‘她很好,你不要担心’。”然而朝鲜坚称横田惠已于1994年自杀身亡。

Kim is somewhat vague about how she knows that either Taguchi or Yokota is still alive.

当被问及她何以知道田口八重子和横田惠依然活着时,金贤姬含糊其辞。

She said the women had probably picked up classified information from working with spies, so it made sense for North Korea to declare them dead.

她说,她们可能是在同间谍一起工作期间获得了机密信息,因此朝鲜有理由宣称她们已经死亡。

But, she said, “I do not think they have passed away, because the reasons that North Korea gave for their deaths are not reasonable.”

但她说,“我不认为她们死了,因为朝鲜给出的死因不合理。”

本文最初发表于2017年11月3日。

Makiko Inoue自东京、Su-hyun Lee自首尔对本文有报道贡献。

翻译:石乔宇、陈亦亭

点击查看本文英文版。

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