Senior members of the ruling Liberal Democratic Party agreed Friday to draw up new legislation to support Japanese nationals abducted by North Korea and their relatives and enable them to settle in Japan more easily.

The government is also considering a proposal for the abductees to be granted additional support in the fields of welfare, education and employment if and when they decide to permanently settle in Japan.

LDP executives, including Secretary General Taku Yamasaki and Taro Aso, the party’s policy affairs chief, said they will urge other coalition and opposition parties to jointly submit the bill during the current extraordinary Diet session, which ends Dec. 13.

Rapid enactment of the proposals would be possible if both the ruling and opposition camps support the bill, party sources said.

Banri Kaieda, chairman of the Policy Research Affairs Council of the opposition Democratic Party of Japan, said the legislation should be enacted as soon as possible.

The new rules would cover such questions as allowing the victims and their families to receive pensions, even though they have not paid premiums since they were taken to North Korea.

It will also help the victims’ children be admitted to Japanese schools and take Japanese lessons. Other measures include helping the victims find jobs and housing in Japan.

Similar legislation was enacted in 1994 to support Japanese left behind as children in China during World War II. The so-called war orphans were either abandoned by their Japanese families or otherwise separated from them in China in the chaotic closing days of the war.

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