TOKYO, July 3 (Xinhua) -- Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe said Thursday that Japan will partially lift its sanctions imposed on the Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK).
The decision was made after the two countries had a meeting in Beijing, China, Tuesday on the DPRK's past abductions of Japanese nationals, which is a major obstacle for the two to establishing diplomatic ties.
Abe told reporters in his official residence after a meeting with relevant ministers that a team launched by the DPRK to reinvestigate the whereabouts of Japanese it kidnapped in the 1970s and 1980s contains powerful National Defense Commission member.
Japan and the DPRK agreed late May that the latter would launch a committee to reinvestigate the whereabouts of the abducted Japanese and Japan, in return, would lift some unilateral sanctions related to the abduction imposed on the DPRK.
According to local reports, Japan is expected to lift sanctions on visits, to lift special restrictions against the DPRK regarding money remittance and money carried by visitors, and to ease the embargo on the entry of DPRK-flagged ships with a humanitarian mission into Japanese ports.
On Wednesday, a senior Japanese vice foreign minister said in Washington that the United States understand Japan's move to lift some restrictions closely related to the abduction issue imposed on the DPRK.
After Abe's announcement, Japan's Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga said the DPRK will name members of the reinvestigation team on Friday.
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Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and his ministers attended the meeting to discuss the missiles fired by the DPRK before a Japan- DPRK meeting on Tuesday in Beijing on bilateral abduction issue. Full story