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Measures considered to support N.Korea returnees

Japan's ruling coalition parties are looking into ways to support Japanese nationals abducted by North Korea and their families when they return home.

The Liberal Democratic Party and junior coalition partner New Komeito are set to compile a new plan by the end of the month.

The move follows North Korea's announcement on Friday that it will launch a special committee to investigate missing Japanese, including abductees.

Under the plan, returnees aged 65 years and over are to receive a national pension in a lump-sum payment.

A new benefit system will be also considered for those aged 60 years and older and their spouses.
The government expects North Korea to report the results of its initial investigation sometime between late summer and early autumn. In anticipation, the coalition plans to compile the plan by the end of the month.

The Japanese government has lifted some of the sanctions it imposed on the North.

But some LDP members are strongly urging that the sanctions be re-imposed if the results of the North's probe are insufficient. They say officials in Pyongyang have repeatedly been insincere in their responses.

The coalition will ask the government to strictly monitor the North's investigation to ensure that all abductees are returned home.

Jul. 4, 2014 - Updated 23:45 UTC