Japan has received a list from North Korea of Japanese women who will be allowed to make their first homecoming visit to Japan later this month, Chief Cabinet Secretary Kanezo Muraoka said Oct. 9.The names of between 10 and 15 women were tentatively put on the list, which was obtained by the government earlier in the day, Muraoka told a regular news conference in the afternoon. The list arrived just as the government officially announced an aid package of 67,000 tons of rice, as well as 94 million yen in medical equipment to North Korea.Muraoka declined to provide more information about the list, saying details would be made available only after other relevant matters are finalized. In addition, he indicated that even after plans for the first homecoming visit are finalized, information related to the women may be partly withheld to protect their privacy and that of their relatives in Japan.The tentative list was delivered to the government through the Japanese Embassy in Beijing, according to Muraoka. The wives’ visit would mark the first time Pyongyang has allowed any of the more than 1,800 Japanese women who accompanied their Korean husbands to the communist state between 1959 and 1984 to visit Japan.
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