Japan to send officials to North Korea next week to get an update on abduction issue

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Japan's government will send a group of officials to North Korea next week for an update on the North's investigation into the abduction of Japanese citizens by North Korean agents in the 1970s and '80s.

Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga said Wednesday that the officials will arrive in Pyongyang on Monday for a four-day trip.

Prime Minister Shinzo Abe said the purpose of sending the team is to convey firmly to North Korea's special investigation committee that the resolution of the abduction issue is a high priority for Japan.

North Korea agreed in May to launch a new probe into the abductions.

The officials will meet with the investigation committee Tuesday and Wednesday. The Japanese delegation will include Junichi Ihara, head of the Foreign Ministry's Asian and Oceanian Affairs Bureau.