The homecoming of Japanese wives living in North Korea is imminent. However, this event alone is not expected to lead to an immediate resumption of negotiations on normalizing bilateral diplomatic ties.

The wives’ return visit, however, and Japan’s decision to extend food aid are improving the atmosphere between the two countries, increasing the likelihood that talks will take place in the near future, according to Masaji Takahashi, who early last month was appointed Japan’s representative to such talks.

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