• Compiled From Kyodo, Staff Reports

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Foreign Ministry officials secretly traveled to North Korea on Tuesday on a mission to take custody of a Japanese man held by Pyongyang on drug-smuggling charges, Chief Cabinet Secretary Yasuo Fukuda said Wednesday.

The officials — three from the Japanese Embassy in Beijing and another from Tokyo — may also discuss the abductions issue with North Korea, Foreign Ministry spokesman Hatsuhisa Takashima said later in the day.

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