TOKYO (AP) — Japan approved easing its sanctions on North Korea on Friday in response to Pyongyang's reopening of a probe into the fate of at least a dozen Japanese allegedly abducted to the North decades ago.
The move includes lifting some travel restrictions on North Koreans, allowing port calls by North Korean ships for humanitarian purposes and restrictions on cash sent to the North. But other sanctions, including Japan's own and those under U.N. resolutions, will stay in place.
— North Korean nationals are now allowed to enter Japan, but will be screened case-by-case if a request is filed. A ban on individuals subject to the U.N sanctions remains.
— Officials of Chongryong (the General Association of Korean Residents in Japan), which serves as a de-facto North Korean embassy here, can obtain re-entry permits after traveling to North Korea.
— An advisory discouraging Japanese nationals from traveling to North Korea is no longer in place.
— North Korean-registered vessels are able to enter Japanese ports but only for humanitarian purposes.
— A ban on a North Korean passenger ferry, the Mangyongbong-92, that was the only regular direct connection to Japan, stays in place.
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