Group continues North Korean radio program
Akihiro Takeda / Yomiuri Shimbun Staff Writer
Broadcast of the shortwave radio program Shiokaze (sea breeze), which has been sending messages to Japanese abduction victims in North Korea since October 2005, has entered its eighth year.
The Tokyo-based Investigation Commission on Missing Japanese Probably Related to North Korea (COMJAN), which runs the radio program in spite of repeated jamming believed to have come from North Korea and financial difficulties, plans to start middlewave radio broadcasting if the necessary funds can be mustered.
"We'll definitely continue broadcasting until the abduction issue is resolved," said a member of the commission.
Besides running the radio, COMJAN recognizes about 470 people who could possibly have been abducted by North Korea as "special missing people" and conducts its own independent investigations into their status.
Shiokaze broadcasts messages from abductees' families and news twice a day in four languages--Japanese, Korean, Chinese and English.
An abductee who returned to Japan in 2002 admitted secretly listening to radios in North Korea, which strictly controls information.
Tatsuru Murao, 47, executive director of COMJAN and editor for Shiokaze, said, "I'm sure there is a chance for abductees to listen to our radio program."
The program has been interrupted by jamming believed to have come from North Korea since about May 2006, but the commission deals with the situation by using three kinds of frequencies for their broadcasts.
According to Murao, the incidents of jamming considerably increased from the time when Kim Jong Un took power until around May this year. The invisible battle continues.
Another big problem for COMJAN is the costs of the broadcasts, which reach as much as about 15 million yen a year. The commission has managed to run the show on donations and sales of related goods.
Murao said: "As the resolution of the abduction issue is showing little progress, abductees need encouragement now. If we can raise funds, we'd like to broadcast on the middlewave radio frequency known as AM."
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The following are excerpts of messages from family members of abductees recorded for the radio:
Sakie Yokota, 76, mother of Megumi, who was abducted at the age of 13:
Dear Megumi, this is the 35th spring since it became impossible for me to see you. I remember everything about you and things around you until you became 13 as if they just happened yesterday, including scent, how the wind blew and the flowers waved.
Time has passed so quickly, and you've turned 47 years old now. I don't know how you live in North Korea, and we're frustrated every day because we don't know any facts. Please don't forget Japan. We're all waiting for you.
Hitomi Soga, 53, daughter of Miyoshi, who was abducted at the age of 46
Mom, where are you and what are you doing? Our family members are all fine, and we are living in peace on wonderful Sado Island [in Niigata Prefecture]. Some years have passed since Dad died. I always picture your face in my mind.
We're looking forward to the day when you come back to Sado and live with us. Please return to Sado as soon as possible.
(Dec. 26, 2012)
Radio Shiokaze (Sea-breeze) in Tokyo, Japan was monitored on 23 September 2011 from 14.15 to 14.30 UTC (broadcast time 13.30-14.30 UTC, Friday only) on 5.9850 kHz. Signal (SINPO) at 14.15 UTC was 21441 -- strong interference on 5.985 kHz from an adjacent station or jamming caused severe heterodyning.
When retuned to 5.983 kHz reception was clear and speech understood.
The station is sponsored by the Japanese government and public donations to obtain the release of Japanese abductees held in North Korea.
Reception report was submitted by email to comjansite2003 @ chosa-kai.jp
Thanks to: South East Asia DXing, http://shortwavedxer.blogspot.com ((( T.L. Breyel, Malaysia ))))
Via Yimber Gaviria, Colombia