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Japan, N. Korea to Hold Talks on Abductions

December 21, 2005

TOKYO (AP) _ Japan and North Korea will hold talks over the weekend on the North’s abductions of Japanese citizens and other outstanding bilateral issues, the Japanese Foreign Ministry said Wednesday.

A ministry statement said the talks would take place in Beijing on Saturday and Sunday.

The two countries held talks on Nov. 3-4 _ the first in more than a year _ in Beijing on the abductions and other matters, which ended in discord over the North’s demands for compensation for Japan’s colonial-era rule and Tokyo’s questions about the abduction of its citizens by Pyongyang’s spies.

Japan’s chief delegate Akitaka Saiki and North Korean envoy Song Il ho will discuss the kidnappings, the North’s nuclear weapons and missile programs as well as issues concerning the past, according to the statement.

Japan’s top spokesman said that Tokyo will further press Pyongyang on the abduction issue.

``We will again demand strongly for the return of the survivors, investigations into the matter, and the handover of suspects,″ said Chief Cabinet Secretary Shinzo Abe.

Tokyo and Pyongyang have been at odds over missing kidnapped Japanese and the colonization of the Korean Peninsula.

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