The government announced on Friday that 12 Japanese women have been chosen for the second homecoming trip of women who emigrated to North Korea some 40 years ago. Their visit will begin Jan. 27.The women, who live in North Korea with their Korean spouses, will depart Pyongyang and arrive in Tokyo Jan. 27 via Beijing for a one-week stay, and depart Tokyo on Feb. 2 returning to Pyongyang on the following day via the Chinese capital, Chief Cabinet Secretary Kanezo Muraoka told a regular press conference.Their visit will follow the first group of 15 in November, in an epoch-making event for the two nations that do not maintain diplomatic relations. All disclosed their Japanese names and which prefecture they are from, but refused to meet the press to protect the privacy of their relatives in Japan, the top government spokesman said.”The government welcomes the continuation of the homecoming visit and would like to receive them warmly and hopes that they will have happy and meaningful time during their stay,” Muraoka said. The 12 are: Kiriko Den, 67, from Fukushima Prefecture; Yoshiko Arai, 61, from Gunma Prefecture; Masako Shinkawa, 70, from Saitama Prefecture; Mitsuko Endo, 62 and Kyoko Okada, 64, from Chiba Prefecture; Tamao Murakami, 69, Kiyoko Toyono, 60 and Mitsuko Otaka, 60, from Tokyo; Hiroko Fukuma, 59 and Kazuko Hashimoto, 67, from Osaka Prefecture; Suzuko Yamanaka, 64, from Mie Prefecture; and Fumiko Nishihara, 68, from Kumamoto Prefecture.

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