In 1977, a 13-year-old girl disappeared on her way home from school in Japan. It wasn’t until 20 years later that an astounding truth came to light: she had been kidnapped by North Korea.
For many years, the majority of Japanese dismissed rumors regarding such abduction operations as a manifestation of Cold War paranoia. They were proven wrong when, under international pressure, North Korea’s Chairman Kim publicly admitted to whisking away foreign citizens.
In this powerful memoir, Sakie Yokota tells of the agony she suffered as the mother of the abductee: first due to uncertainty about what happened to her daughter, and later due to her own government’s insipid diplomatic efforts. During her ordeals, she found solace in the Bible’s simple words and converted to Christianity. Not merely a ledger of pain, her memoir is a tale of enduring hope, strength, and wisdom, and of the love of family and the kindness of strangers that has sustained her.
North Korea refuses to return her daughter Megumi, claiming that she is dead, but the “evidence” they provided has not substantiated the assertion. Mrs. Yokota continues to have faith.
“Told in a grieving mother’s own words, its tone of righteous anger is tangible.”
—The Japan Times
“A journey of continuing hope and faith. A testimony to the strength and tenacity of the caring heart.”
—Noel Paul Stookey, Peter, Paul and Mary
“The Yokotas’ story has everything: intrigue, suspense, international scandal, betrayal, hope, despair, faith, endurance, redemption. Most of all, it has the stirring example of a mother’s love that unexpectedly brought her to faith and a role on the world stage.”
author of What’s So Amazing About Grace?
“A story filled with great sadness, but also irrepressible love, determination and dignity. Her relentless search for the truth eventually moved the most powerful governments in the world.”
—Michael J. Green
former Special Assistant to the President
for National Security Affairs
“The love and devotion of Sakie Yokota to find her daughter has inspired the world and led to one of the most important grassroots human rights movements in Japan with which we have pledged to work until the day that the captives of North Korea are set free.”
Chairman, North Korea Freedom Coalition
“The abduction issue may be Japanese-centric, but it must be understood in the broader context of an assault on the dignity of the family, everyone’s family.”
—James A. Leach
Former House Representative and Chairman of the Subcommittee on Asian and Pacific Affairs, and the Congressional-Executive Commission on China
“North Korea Kidnapped My Daughter by Mrs. Sakie Yokota is a deeply moving personal account that reminds us all of the very real human costs of the unresolved
historical legacies in East Asia.”
—L. Gordon Flake
The Maureen and Mike Mansfield Foundation
“This profoundly touching testimony of a mother’s love for her daughter, and her unwillingness to give up the search to find her, should be read by anyone wanting to learn the depths of horror and depravity to which the government of North Korea will sink in its quest to perpetuate its horrific dictatorship. The case of Megumi Yokota cries out for attention.”
President, Human Rights Federation
“Mrs. Sakie Yokota’s book of her daughter and their family’s struggle provides intimate descriptions in this extraordinary nightmare of parenthood: an agonizing state of knowing that their child had greatly suffered, while unsure and searching for information of their daughter’s whereabouts and condition. Mrs. Yokota’s strength of character is incredible throughout the book; in her, determination and faith are more powerful than anger.”
—Robin H. Sakoda
Armitage International, L.C.
“A heart-rending story of a mother’s love and devotion in confrontation with one of the world’s last totalitarian regimes.”
—Rev. Robert A. Sirico
President, Acton Institute
“North Korea Kidnapped My Daughter by Sakie Yokota is an important contribution. Her search drives home the importance of the universal bonds of a relationship of family, that special relationship between a mother and daughter, and how a country such as North Korea must correct its past mistakes if it plans to move forward and normalize relations with other countries throughout the world.”
—Dr. Gerard Janco
President, Eurasia Center/Eurasian Business Coalition
“I welcome this book. I hope it will lead Americans to understand the abductees’ issue and get together to move forward to return all of the victims.”
Radio Free Asia
“My meeting with Sakie Yokota remains one of the most moving experiences of my Presidency.”
—George W. Bush
43rd President of the United States
“It has been our privilege to know Mrs. Yokota since shortly after Megumi disappeared, and to share our faith with her. Her trust in God, believing that He is in control, and her ability to publicly state that He is the one who has helped her through these difficult years, has been a great joy to us. We pray for each other every day that His name will be honored and His will accomplished.”
—Peg and Rev. Dan McDaniel
“Mr. and Mrs. Yokota’s quiet bravery over the past thirty years is nothing short of inspiring. For those of us working in the North Korean abductee/refugee and human rights fields, the lives of these gentle people with iron resolve continually challenge us to go further and do more.”
Christian activist and founder of Helping Hands Korea