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Japanese radicals who hijacked a Japan Airlines plane to North Korea in 1970 plan to let six of their offspring come to Japan in January, according to sources.

Among the six, who were born and raised in the North, is the 23-year-old daughter of Megumi Yao, the former wife of a Red Army Faction hijacking fugitive and who now is in Japan, the sources said Tuesday.

Yao, 47, has filed a lawsuit urging the group to hand over the children, saying they “are being kept as hostages in North Korea.”

The others include the 20-year-old son of the late Takamaro Tamiya, who was the group leader and a senior member of the faction, the sources said.

The government’s response to their arrival in Japan is expected to become a focus of attention.

It would be the third group of its kind to come to Japan. Of the 18 children who were in the North, eight have already come here under similar arrangements, in May 2001 and last September.

If the move comes about, only four of the offspring would be left in North Korea.

Yao’s elder daughter, age 24, has meanwhile postponed plans to come to Japan for health reasons, the sources said.

Yao has admitted her involvement in the 1983 abduction of Japanese student Keiko Arimoto, who was taken from Europe to North Korea at Tamiya’s behest.

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