South Korea has expressed welcoming but cautious reactions to the talks between Japan and North Korea.
South Korea's Foreign Ministry said in a statement on Thursday that the abductions are a humanitarian issue and that the country hopes for an early settlement.
The ministry added that transparency is needed in the talks as well as procedures to lift sanctions against the North.
The ministry also said any of Japan's decisions on North Korea should not undermine the framework of international cooperation, including efforts to cope with North Korea's nuclear and missile programs.
China's Foreign Ministry spokesperson Hong Lei said that China hopes Japan and North Korea will improve relations through the talks and thus lead to regional peace and stability.
The United States government has yet to officially respond to the talks.
A US think tank researcher says North Korea wants to secure long-term economic benefits and is trying to create rifts among Japan, the United States, and South Korea.
Jul. 3, 2014 - Updated 10:13 UTC