World

Japan's prime minister turns up the pressure on North Korea over abduction issue

  • Japan's Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, left,  shakes hands with former abductee Hitomi Soga as Shigeru Yokota, center, father of Megumi Yokota who was also abducted by North Korean agents in 1977, looks on during a rally against North Korea's abductions, in Tokyo, Saturday, Sept. 13, 2014. Prime Minister Abe is turning up the pressure on North Korea to answer questions over the fate of possibly hundreds of Japanese citizens believed to have been abducted by the North's agents in the 1970s and 1980s. (AP Photo/Koji Sasahara)

    Japan's Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, left, shakes hands with former abductee Hitomi Soga as Shigeru Yokota, center, father of Megumi Yokota who was also abducted by North Korean agents in 1977, looks on during a rally against North Korea's abductions, in Tokyo, Saturday, Sept. 13, 2014. Prime Minister Abe is turning up the pressure on North Korea to answer questions over the fate of possibly hundreds of Japanese citizens believed to have been abducted by the North's agents in the 1970s and 1980s. (AP Photo/Koji Sasahara)  (The Associated Press)

  • Japan's Prime Minister Shinzo Abe arrives for a rally against North Korea's abductions, in Tokyo, Saturday, Sept. 13, 2014. Prime Minister Abe told the rally in Tokyo on Saturday that he will not back down until every abductee is accounted for. Suggesting he believes some are still alive, he said he will not relent until they are allowed to come back to Japan. (AP Photo/Koji Sasahara)

    Japan's Prime Minister Shinzo Abe arrives for a rally against North Korea's abductions, in Tokyo, Saturday, Sept. 13, 2014. Prime Minister Abe told the rally in Tokyo on Saturday that he will not back down until every abductee is accounted for. Suggesting he believes some are still alive, he said he will not relent until they are allowed to come back to Japan. (AP Photo/Koji Sasahara)  (The Associated Press)

  • Japan's Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, right, delivers a speech during a rally against North Korea's abductions, in Tokyo, Saturday, Sept. 13, 2014. Prime Minister Abe told the rally in Tokyo on Saturday that he will not back down until every abductee is accounted for. Suggesting he believes some are still alive, he said he will not relent until they are allowed to come back to Japan. (AP Photo/Koji Sasahara)

    Japan's Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, right, delivers a speech during a rally against North Korea's abductions, in Tokyo, Saturday, Sept. 13, 2014. Prime Minister Abe told the rally in Tokyo on Saturday that he will not back down until every abductee is accounted for. Suggesting he believes some are still alive, he said he will not relent until they are allowed to come back to Japan. (AP Photo/Koji Sasahara)  (The Associated Press)

Japan's prime minister is turning up the pressure on North Korea to answer questions over the fate of possibly hundreds of Japanese citizens believed to have been abducted by the North's agents in the 1970s and 1980s.

Shinzo Abe told a rally in Tokyo on Saturday that he will not back down until every abductee is accounted for. Suggesting he believes some are still alive, he said he will not relent until they are allowed to come back to Japan.

Abe's remarks came as North Korea is preparing to announce the results of a new investigation into the matter following an agreement in May.

Japan recognizes 17 cases, but an independent investigative commission and police suggest the number could be as high as 869.