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Japan has seen a sharp increase in the number of postal remittances to North Korea in recent years, an opposition lawmaker said Thursday.

Citing Japan Post documents, Shu Watanabe, a House of Representatives member from the Democratic Party of Japan, told a Lower House panel the number of remittances to the North was 1,560 in fiscal 2004, compared with 383 in fiscal 2002 and 506 in fiscal 2003.

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