Japan will take up the issue of Japanese nationals abducted to North Korea in the 1970s and 1980s during six-party talks later this month in Beijing, a senior Foreign Ministry official said Tuesday.

But if Pyongyang agrees to hold bilateral talks before the six-party talks, Japan might let the abduction issue rest during the six-way talks, the official said on condition of anonymity. Japan hopes to resume bilateral normalization talks with Pyongyang.

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