Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe has reiterated his resolve to meet North Korean leader Kim Jong Un "without preconditions."
Abe was speaking to an Upper House committee on Thursday on the issue of Japanese nationals abducted by North Korea.
He said that he has long expressed his determination to meet Kim in person and face him directly, to break the cycle of mutual distrust and resolve the North's nuclear, missile and abduction issues.
The prime minister said that he wanted to express his determination in a more clear-cut manner when he said he aims to meet Kim without preconditions.
Abe also said it's important for Japan to take every opportunity to try to resolve the abduction issue for the aging families of the abductees.
He was asked if the government is going to change its policy on North Korea. He replied that the policy will remain unchanged as there has been little progress with North Korea's denuclearization.
Abe said Japan is strictly implementing the UN sanction resolutions against the North and is urging other countries to do the same.
He added that he needs to talk to the North Korean leader in an effort to resolve the abduction issue.