"North Korea said eight of those abducted have died and the remaining five have been repatriated."
Pyongyang, July 4 - North Korea will set up a special investigation committee tasked with probing the past abductions of Japanese and will start a comprehensive investigation from Friday into all Japanese residing in the country, media reported.
The committee would be given special mandate from the National Defence Commission (NDC) of North Korea to investigate and mobilise all relevant institutions and people concerned when necessary, Xinhua reported citing the official KCNA news agency.
The announcement came one day after North Korea confirmed it and Japan held inter-governmental talks Tuesday in Beijing, during which the Japanese side agreed to lift some of its sanctions against the country.
North Korea had said in 2002 that it abducted 13 Japanese nationals in the 1970s and 1980s. Talks on the issue were shelved in December 2012, when North Korea launched a long-range missile.
North Korea said eight of those abducted have died and the remaining five have been repatriated.
The Japanese government Friday officially announced its decision to lift several sanctions, including restrictions on personnel visits, remittances, the amount of funds allowed to be carried by visitors to the DPRK and the embargo on the entry of North Korea-flagged ships with humanitarian missions into Japanese ports, according to the KCNA report.