• The Associated Press

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Japan denied visas to six North Koreans seeking to attend a religious conference because of tightened restrictions imposed after Pyongyang’s missile tests last month, an immigration official said Friday.

The Justice Ministry refused permission for the six North Koreans representing Christian and Buddhist organizations to enter Japan to attend a conference beginning Saturday in Kyoto, Immigration Bureau spokeswoman Chio Nakai said.

Nakai refused to comment on the specific grounds for the rejection.

NHK cited unidentified Justice Ministry officials as saying the individuals were denied entry because they appeared to be linked to the North Korean government.

Japan imposed tighter visa restrictions on North Koreans seeking to visit Japan in the wake of the missile tests. All of the missiles fell into the sea between North Korea and Japan, but the tests raised fears in Japan that the North may be targeting the country. Tokyo imposed limited sanctions and pushed for a punitive U.N. Security Council resolution.

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