TOKYO, July 4 (Xinhua) -- The Japanese Cabinet on Friday gave a green light to ease some of Japan's unilateral sanctions imposed on the Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK), as progress has been made between the two sides over the deadlocked abduction issue.
The final decision followed Prime Minister Shinzo Abe's comments on Thursday that Japan will lift some sanctions related to the Japan-DPRK abduction issue as Japan said that it has confirmed a powerful-enough special team has been launched to reinvestigate the abduction which happened in the 1970s and 1980s.
The two countries on Tuesday held a meeting in Beijing over the issue that had prevented the two countries from forging diplomatic ties. Local reports said the DPRK detailed the team to the Japanese side during the meeting.
The DPRK announced Friday after Japan's decision that an "all- inclusive and comprehensive investigation" will start from the day with the new organization, the "Special Investigation Committee," which is given a "special mandate" from the National Defense Commission headed by the DPRK leader Kim Jong Un, according to local press.
The committee was chaired by So Tae Ha, a counselor in the National Defense Commission responsible for security, who doubles as vice minister of state security.
The committee, which groups about 30 officials, also includes Kim Myong Chol, counselor of the Ministry of State Security, and Pak Yong Sik, department director of the Ministry of People's Security. Both of them serve as vice heads of the panel.
According Japan's decision on easing sanctions, the country will not ban DPRK nationals from entering Japan and the DPRK registered vessels, excluding the Mangyongbong-92 passenger-cargo ferry, are no longer banned from entering Japanese ports in humanitarian purposes.
Japanese nationals are no longer advised to refrain from visiting the DPRK, according to the decision.
On Wednesday, the United States, with which Japan cooperates over the DPRK's missile and nuclear issues, urged Japan to treat the abduction issue separately from dealing with the two military issues, according to local reports.
Meanwhile, a senior Japanese vice foreign minister said in Washington that the United States understand Japan's move to lift some restrictions closely related to abduction issue imposed on the DPRK.
Japanese Foreign Minister Fumio Kishida said Friday that it is too early to resume the six-party talks as the DPRK kept its provocative action, referring to missile launches.
Despite DPRK's call for resuming the talks without preconditions, Kishida said that it is important to hold dialogue with the DPRK, but that Japan will continue to take into account views of the other members of the six-party process.
Local reports said that Kishida's remark indicated that Tokyo will maintain tie-ups with Washington and Seoul.
South Korea on Thursday said it welcomes Japan's decision on easing some sanctions over the DPRK, but also said that it hopes the move should be a "transparency" one that will not block international efforts on dealing with the DPRK's nuclear and missile programs.
Any of Japan's decisions on the DPRK "should be made in such a way as not to undermine the framework of maintaining international cooperation, including that among South Korea, the United States and Japan, on its nuclear and missile programs," South Korean Foreign Ministry spokesman was quoted as saying in a press briefing.
TOKYO, July 4 (Xinhua) -- The Japanese Cabinet on Friday gave a green light to ease some of its sanctions imposed on the Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK), according to Japan's Kyodo News.Full Story
BEIJING, July 3 (Xinhua) -- Negotiations between Japan and the Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK) should be conducive to regional peace and stability, a Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman said on Thursday.Full Story
PYONGYANG, July 3 (Xinhua) -- The Democratic People's Republic of Korea announced the authority and organization of a special commission tasked with probing the past abductions of Japanese in the country during Tuesday's inter-governmental meeting with Japan in Beijing, the official KCNA reported Thursday. Full Story
TOKYO, July 3 (Xinhua) -- Japanese top government spokesman said Thursday that Japan will formally announce its sanction easing following the Democratic People's Republic of Korea's (DPRK) launch of a reinvestigation team on the bilateral abduction issue on Friday.Full Story