Prime Minister Shinzo Abe has reiterated that he wants to meet North Korean leader Kim Jong Un to resolve the abduction issue.
Abe and Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga, who is also the abduction issue minister, attended a meeting of the abductees' relatives in Tokyo on Sunday. The meetings are held twice a year.
Japan's top government spokesperson has sought to clarify Prime Minister Shinzo Abe's remarks that he aims to meet North Korea's leader "without preconditions."
Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga spoke to reporters on Tuesday, a day after Abe said he hopes to arrange talks with Kim Jong Un in order to resolve the issue of North Korea's abductions of Japanese nationals.
Senior officials from Japan and the United States have agreed to closely watch moves leading to North Korea's possible denuclearization ahead of the Russia-North Korea summit.
The Japanese Foreign Ministry's Asian and Oceanian Affairs Bureau chief, Kenji Kanasugi, and US Special Representative for North Korea, Stephen Biegun spoke by phone on Sunday.
Japan's Prime Minister Shinzo Abe says North Korean leader Kim Jong Un may have learned that the United States attaches great importance to abductions of Japanese nationals.
Abe was speaking in a Diet session, responding to a question about last week's meeting between Kim and US President Donald Trump. A Diet member said prospects for solving the abduction issue may have receded, as Trump and Kim ended their meeting without an agreement.
Japanese Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga says the government hopes the upcoming US-North Korea summit will lead to solutions to issues relating to Pyongyang, such as the abduction of Japanese nationals, nuclear and missiles programs.
Suga spoke to reporters on Wednesday ahead of the second summit between US President Donald Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un, which was set to start later in the day.
The families of Japanese citizens abducted by North Korea have compiled their first message for the country's leader Kim Jong Un, in the hope of persuading him to allow the abductees to return home.
The message says if North Korea repatriates the abductees soon, the families will neither extract confidential information from them nor take actions that would hamper negotiations to normalize bilateral relations.
An expert on North Korean politics says he is focusing on the amount of time the leaders of the 2 Koreas will spend in one-on-one discussions at the upcoming inter-Korean summit.
Associate Professor Atsuhito Isozaki of Keio University spoke to NHK by phone. He says that will demonstrate how much the North's leader trusts his South Korean counterpart.
North Korean leader Kim Jong Un is calling on the United States to keep its side of the nuclear agreement reached at a US-North summit in June.
China's state-run broadcaster CCTV reported that Kim made the remark when he met with third-highest-ranking Chinese government official, Li Zhanshu, on Sunday.
Li was visiting Pyongyang to attend the celebration of the 70th anniversary of the North's foundation.
Japan's Prime Minister Shinzo Abe has expressed determination to meet North Korean leader Kim Jong Un to resolve the issue of the North's abductions of Japanese.
Abe was speaking at a meeting with former abductee Hitomi Soga, whose mother is still unaccounted for after the two were abducted by North Korean agents decades ago.
A Japanese city north of Tokyo says the country's government has cancelled a joint drill for evacuating in case of a North Korean ballistic missile launch.
Officials of Yaita City in Tochigi Prefecture say they were told of the cancellation through a prefectural office on Wednesday. The government cited as a reason for the cancellation the international situation after the June 12th US-North Korea summit.