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Japan should seize the opportunity to resume normalization talks with Pyongyang if major progress is made at the six-party talks being held on North Korea’s nuclear program in Beijing, experts said Tuesday.

If the six parties can reach an initial agreement on conditions for North Korea to abandon its nuclear program, Japan should resume bilateral talks with Pyongyang and provide specific plans on economic aid, according to a report compiled by the experts on Japan-North Korea issues.

Such measures will help resolve other outstanding bilateral issues, including North Korea’s past abductions of Japanese nationals, it says.

The report was released at a lecture Tuesday in Tokyo by the Japan Institute of International Affairs, a government-affiliated think tank.

Masao Okonogi, a professor of international relations at Keio University, said Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi, given his close personal ties with U.S. President George W. Bush, has a major role to play in encouraging the United States to continue talking with North Korea.

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