Tokyo:  Japan’s Prime Minister Shinzo Abe said Thursday that Japan will partially lift its sanctions imposed on North Korea.

The decision was made after the two countries held a meeting in Beijing Tuesday on North Korea’s past abductions of Japanese nationals, which is a major obstacle for the two nations to establish diplomatic ties, Xinhua reported.

Abe told reporters at his official residence after a meeting with relevant ministers that a team launched by North Korea to reinvestigate the whereabouts of Japanese nationals it kidnapped in the 1970s and 1980s contains powerful National Defense Commission member.

Japan and North Korea agreed late May that the latter would launch a committee to reinvestigate the whereabouts of the abducted Japanese nationals, and in return, Japan would lift some unilateral sanctions related to the abduction imposed on North Korea.

Japan is expected to lift sanctions on visits, money remittance and money carried by North Korean visitors, and to ease the embargo on the entry of North Korea-flagged ships with a humanitarian mission into Japanese ports.

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