Relatives of Japanese abducted by North Korea have asked Prime Minister Shinzo Abe to have the North's investigation lead to the return of their loved ones.
The relatives and members of a group investigating the missing Japanese visited Abe's official residence on Friday.
They handed Abe a petition that urges the government to carefully check the North's intentions and negotiate the return of all Japanese.
Representing the relatives, Shigeo Iizuka asked the government to seek an early resolution. His younger sister, Yaeko Taguchi, was abducted in 1978.
Abe said North Korea has promised to investigate under a setup that's totally different from past formats.
Abe added this was only the start, and that Japan will press North Korea to produce verifiable results.
Shigeru Yokota, whose daughter, Megumi, was abducted in 1977, told reporters that North Korea said that she has died, but no such fact has been confirmed. He said he will continue campaigning for her release.
His wife, Sakie, said she wants to see visible results as soon as possible. She said the abductees and their relatives are both aging and progress should be quick.
Jul. 4, 2014 - Updated 10:54 UTC