Japan would be willing to allow the five Japanese who returned to their homeland after being abducted to North Korea decades ago to fly to Pyongyang airport to collect their relatives, as long as they do not get off the plane, a senior government official said Friday.

This compromise was first suggested by Toru Hasuike, elder brother of former abductee Kaoru Hasuike, after North Korean officials told a group of Japanese lawmakers in December that they would send the returnees’ kin to Japan if the five traveled to the airport to meet them.

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