His family said Yokota expired of natural causes at a hospital at Kawasaki, near Tokyo, on Friday, until he managed to fulfill his daughter.
“My husband and I did our best together, however, he passed before visiting Megumi again.
Megumi vanished in 1977 in her way home from her junior high school in Niigata on Japan’s northern shore when she was 13. It had been the day after she gave her dad a comb for a birthday present, a memento he always carried with him.
A former Central Bank official, Yokota, along with his wife kept searching for Megumi and discovered 20 years later she had been abducted to North Korea by its representatives.
The grinning and soft-spoken Yokota became the face of the effort that finally gained authorities backing.
The Yokotas had traveled across Japan carrying their daughter’s pictures. A picture of an innocent-looking adolescent in a college uniform turned into a rallying cry for his or her origin.
Japan asserts that the North abducted at least 17 individuals to train representatives in Japanese culture and language to spy on rival South Korea.
Five of those abductees were permitted to come home for a trip later that year and have since remained. North Korea says eight other people, such as Megumi, had expired and denies the other four entered its territory. Their own families and the Japanese authorities disagree.
North Korea sent samples of exactly what it said were Megumi’s ashes but DNA evaluation by the Japanese authorities revealed they weren’t hers and were blended using non-human remains.
In 2014, the Yokotas traveled to Mongolia to fulfill a girl Megumi gave birth in North Korea, but Megumi wasn’t there.
Japan and North Korea have no diplomatic ties, and attempts to solve the abductions have since mostly postponed. Many older relatives say they are running out of time to find out their nearest and dearest.
Yokota resigned as the band’s leader in 2007 because of decreasing health, however, he continued to make public appearances though he didn’t talk in public for the previous four decades.
“I am full of sorrow and sadness that we have not managed to attract (Megumi) back,” Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe told reporters Friday. He renewed his pledge to deliver the abductee’s house.