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Abe to meet abductees' relatives

Japan

Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe plans to meet this week with relatives of people abducted by North Korean agents decades ago. He wants to explain the government's efforts to get them back home.

One year has passed since Japan and North Korea resumed intergovernmental talks.

North Korea set up a special committee last July to look into the fate of Japanese people in the country, including those abducted. But no significant progress has been seen.

Japanese Cabinet ministers plan to approve the extension of 2 sanctions against North Korea by 2 years.

The current bans on trade and entry into Japanese ports by North Korean vessels except for humanitarian purposes will expire on April 13th.

Government officials say they will continue to urge North Korea to quickly report the probe's results. They want to complete verifying results by this summer, around a year after the investigation began.

Prime Minister Abe plans to tell the abductees' relatives that he will do whatever he can to secure the return of their loved ones, based on the basic principles of “dialogue and pressure" and “action for action".

The government says at least 17 Japanese were abducted in the 1970s and 80's by North Korean agents. 12 of them are still missing.

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