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Abe meets Mongolian president possibly over N. Korea abductions

Prime Minister Shinzo Abe met with Mongolian President Tsakhiagiin Elbegdorj on Wednesday, in an unscheduled meeting that suggests Japan has been asking for help from Mongolia to address the past abductions of Japanese citizens by North Korea. Mongolia has diplomatic ties with North Korea, while the abductions by the country's agents in the 1970s and 1980s have prevented Japan and the North from normalizing bilateral relations.

Abe meets Mongolian president possibly over N. Korea abductions

Prime Minister Shinzo Abe met with Mongolian President Tsakhiagiin Elbegdorj on Wednesday, in an unscheduled meeting that suggests Japan has been asking for help from Mongolia to address the past abductions of Japanese citizens by North Korea. Mongolia has diplomatic ties with North Korea, while the abductions by the country's agents in the 1970s and 1980s have prevented Japan and the North from normalizing bilateral relations.

Japan seeks meeting between Obama, abductees' families

Japan has asked for U.S. President Barack Obama to meet the families of Japanese nationals abducted by North Korean agents when he visits Japan in late April, a state minister in charge of the abduction issue said Friday. "We have informed Mr. (Robert) King, U.S. special envoy on North Korean human rights issues, of a request (for the meeting) from the families," the minister, Keiji Furuya, said at a press conference.

Japan eyes meeting between Obama and abductees' families

The government is planning to arrange a meeting between U.S. President Barack Obama and the families of Japanese nationals abducted by North Korea in the 1970s and 1980s when Obama visits Japan later this month, government sources said Friday. Obama is expected to stay in Japan from April 23 to 25, during which he will hold talks with Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, who has expressed his strong intention to solve the abduction issue, which has prevented Tokyo from normalizing relations with Pyongyang.

Japan eyes meeting between Obama and abductees' families

The government is planning to arrange a meeting between U.S. President Barack Obama and the families of Japanese nationals abducted by North Korea in the 1970s and 1980s when Obama visits Japan later this month, government sources said Friday. Obama is expected to stay in Japan from April 23 to 25, during which he will hold talks with Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, who has expressed his strong intention to solve the abduction issue, which has prevented Tokyo from normalizing relations with Pyongyang.

U.N. investigator meets Japanese minister on N. Korea abductions

U.N. representative Marzuki Darusman met with Japanese minister Keiji Furuya on Wednesday morning to discuss North Korean abductions of Japanese citizens in the 1970s and 1980s. Darusman is a senior Indonesian jurist and member of the U.N. commission that released a February report denouncing the North Korean regime for crimes against humanity.

Abductee Yokota's kin brief U.S. envoy on meeting with granddaughter

The parents of Megumi Yokota, who has become a symbol of the issue of Japanese abducted by North Korea, have briefed a visiting U.S. envoy on their meeting last month with the abductee's daughter in Mongolia, one of them said Saturday. Sakie Yokota, 78, said she and her husband Shigeru, 81, visited the U.S. Embassy in Tokyo at its request Friday and met with Robert King, U.S. special envoy on North Korean human rights issues, for about 30 minutes behind closed doors.

Japan to introduce more foreign workers in construction industry

The government decided Friday to allow more foreign workers into the construction industry, given growing manpower demand for reconstruction of areas hit by the March 2011 disaster and for building facilities for the 2020 Tokyo Olympics, officials said. The government plans to extend the period apprentices from emerging economies are allowed to stay in Japan for training from the current three years, and to allow those who have completed their training periods to return to Japan to work, according to the officials.

Parents of abducted Japanese Yokota invited to N. Korea in May

The parents of Megumi Yokota, who has become a symbol of the long-unresolved issue of Japanese abducted by Pyongyang, said Wednesday they got but declined North Korea's invitation last month to visit the reclusive country in May. Shigeru Yokota and his wife Sakie said at a meeting of ruling Liberal Democratic Party lawmakers that they received the invitation when they met their abducted daughter's child, Kim Eun Gyong, for the first time in Mongolia.

U.S. envoy on N. Korea human rights to visit Japan, S. Korea

A U.S. special envoy on North Korean human rights issues will soon visit Japan and South Korea for talks with senior officials of both governments, the State Department said Monday. Robert King will visit Japan from three days from Thursday and discuss the issue of North Korea's past abductions of Japanese nationals with officials of the Japanese Foreign Ministry and the government's Headquarters for the Abduction Issue, the department said.
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