U.S. President Barack Obama vowed at a meeting Thursday with relatives of Japanese abducted by North Korea that the United States will work with Japan to address the long-running issue, one of the attendees said.

Sakie and Shigeru Yokota, the parents of Megumi Yokota, who was snatched at age 13, and Shigeo Iizuka, who heads a group of the abductees' families, were among those who attended the meeting at the Akasaka Palace State Guest House. Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and Keiji Furuya, state minister in charge of the abduction issue, were also there.

The meeting was Obama's first direct talks with the families. When Obama last visited Japan in 2009, he invited the Yokotas and other relatives of abductees to his speech in Tokyo. Megumi Yokota has become a symbol of the abduction issue.