North Korea says some 30 Japanese abductees still alive

BY Ariel Min  July 9, 2014 at 7:10 PM EST

North Korea has given Japan a list of some 30 missing Japanese victims still living in the country, Nikkei Asian Review reported on Wednesday.

The list includes victims of North Korean state-sponsored kidnappings in the 1970s and 80s, including the 12 victims previously recognized by Japan who have yet to return to the country.

Reuters reports that Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe has put a spotlight on the abductees’ fate a focus of his political career. Japan eased some of its sanctions on North Korea last Friday after Pyongyang agreed to reopen investigations into the cases of the kidnap victims.