The Words of the Goto Family

The Abduction Issue: What Might You Do?

Toru Goto
January 2010

Mr. Goto Toru, president of the Japanese Victims' Association Against Religious Kidnapping and Forced Conversion, toured Korea from December 5 to 17, 2010 to speak in our churches about his horrific experience and to meet other Japanese members now living in Korea who suffered abduction and attempts to force them to renounce their faith while living in or visiting Japan.

What was your impression of the internal state of the former victims you met?

I had heard that many kidnapping victims came to Korea from Japan after being married to Koreans. Coming here, I recognized that there really are quite a few. Many of them cried when I talked to them. In many of them, the effects of their experience have not healed; through this, I could feel the weight of the kidnapping issue.

Is it true that some victims now living in Korea are unwilling to return to Japan?

I know some of them feel that way. People may say that objectively speaking, it is safe to return. However, the victims still express fear about returning to their country. Some are unreasonably fearful, but their experience is something that they don't want to happen ever again.

If our readers wish to pray for the goals of the victims' association, what should they pray for?

Three things: First, to make sure that no member in Japan or citizen of Japan is ever kidnapped or confined again.

Second, there are many victims who still suffer from their experience; we have learned that many suffer from Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder. Our focus is to heal the wounds that these people suffer from and to heal their relationships with their parents.

Third, there are still many people, including Christian ministers and deprogrammers, involved in this kidnapping business, this crime -- this human rights violation is still hidden from view in Japanese society. This is because of the hostile media coverage of our church and because these crimes are being perpetrated by people who have a high standing in society. Now, we must reveal these crimes and have these criminals take moral, criminal and social responsibility for their actions. 

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