Japan makes list of abductees allegedly held as hostages by N Korea
8 June 2014, 15:30 -- Japan has made a list of some 470 citizens who are believed to have been abducted by the North Korean security services and filed it to Pyongyang, Japan's Kyodo News Agency reported Sunday, citing Japan's Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga.
Last week Pyongyang vowed to reopen an investigation into the fate of Japanese citizens kidnapped by North Korean spies in the 1970s and 1980s and held as hostages, RIA reports.
According to Suga, the list of abductees has been handed to North Korea through a diplomatic channel.
In exchange, Japan agreed to ease some of the sanctions imposed earlier on North Korea adding that the sanctions might be reconsidered only after Pyongyang took decisive measures to reinvestigate the cases.
Earlier Japan also expressed its willingness to send its officials to North Korea to monitor the probe and ensure fairness of the process. In response Pyongyang announced it was ready to receive the Japanese delegation at any moment.
Apart from international sanctions imposed on North Korea by the UN Security Council, Japan introduced in 2006 its own measures against the country following its nuclear tests and missile launches.
The Japanese sanctions include a total ban on imports from North Korea and exports to this country, as well as prohibit North Korean vessels from entering Japanese ports. Tokyo insists North Korean security services have abducted 17 Japanese citizens since 1970s.
North Korea admits to having abducted only 13 Japanese nationals. Five hostages could make it back to Japan following the visits of Japan's former Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi to Pyongyang in 2002 and 2004. The rest of the abductees, according to the North Korean side, died. Japan meanwhile considers the evidence of their death inconclusive and demands a reinvestigation.
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