Officials from Japan and North Korea are discussing how Pyongyang will inform Tokyo about the launch of a unit to conduct fresh investigations into the abductee issue, Cabinet members said Tuesday, which could happen as early as this week.

"I understand (the two governments) are adjusting how (Japan) will receive a notice (from North Korea about the launch of the unit) in the most appropriate and effective way," Keiji Furuya, state minister for the abduction issue, said following a Cabinet meeting.

Speaking to reporters separately, Foreign Minister Fumio Kishida said: "Regarding the launch of the special investigation committee, North Korea is supposed to inform (Japan) of its organization, composition and who is in charge. (The two sides) are adjusting how to make such a notice."

According to an agreement the struck in late May, Japan will lift part of the sanctions it has unilaterally imposed on North Korea once Pyongyang sets up a "special investigation committee" with a "mandate to survey all organs" of the state, and starts a "comprehensive and full-scale survey of all Japanese," including those North Korea abducted in the 1970s and 1980s.

The government is also preparing support measures for abductees in the event of their return to Japan, government sources said.