Jenkins gets permanent residency

Kyodo

Charles Jenkins, the American husband of repatriated North Korea abductee Hitomi Soga, gained permanent residency status in Japan on Tuesday.

Jenkins, a former U.S. Army sergeant who fled to North Korea, married Soga there and lived in the country for almost 40 years. He was allowed to come to Japan with the couple’s two North Korea-born daughters in July 2004.

He went to the Niigata Branch Office of the Tokyo Regional Immigration Bureau to obtain the status.

The Justice Ministry decided Friday to grant it to him only half a month after he applied for the status. Usually, foreign nationals must wait about six months to obtain permanent residency status.

Jenkins, 68, has been living in his wife’s hometown on Sado Island since completing a 30-day detention at a U.S. base in Japan for desertion.