Japan, North Korea and Abduction: A discussion of Robert S. Boynton's "The Invitation-Only Zone"
Join us for a discussion that unearths what was once considered an urban myth, the secretive North Korean abductions of Japanese citizens between 1977 and 1983. Discover these citizens' stories, somehow too strange to be believed as true, and how they shaped the relationships between two nations.
North Korea abducted dozens of Japanese citizens in the late nineteen-seventies and held them, in secret, for decades. In 2002, after years of denying any role in the abductions, North Korean leader Kim Jong Il met with Japanese prime minister Junichiro Koizumi, and confessed the state's role in the hope that doing so would bring economic aid from Japan. The meeting had the opposite effect and the abductions remain one of the most pressing issues in Japan and Northeast Asia. In "The Invitation-Only Zone," Robert S. Boynton tells the story of the abductions, using the events to explore the history of Japanese-Korean relations.
Carol Gluck, George Sansom Professor of History Chair, Committee on Global Thought Weatherhead East Asian Institute/Columbia University
Robert Boynton, Associate Professor, New York University
Charles K. Armstrong, The Korea Foundation Professor of Korean Studies in the Social Sciences, Columbia University