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Aid extension proposed for abductees

Kyodo

Any Japanese who was abducted by North Korea in the 1970s and 1980s will continue to receive financial assistance after the support law expires next March, government sources said Sunday of a plan to revamp it.

The plan extends support for the five abductees who have returned to Japan and provides support for any others who return in the future, the sources said.

The law, enacted in 2003 and revised once in 2010, pays returnees ¥170,000 per month (¥240,000 for a two-person household), and ¥30,000 for each additional family member.

The government officially lists 17 people as abductees. Many would be in their late 50s or 60s if they returned and would have a hard time finding work, the sources added.

After the government and the Liberal Democratic Party discuss the plan with the opposition camp, lawmakers who back the move will submit a bill to the Diet next year.