Japan has sounded out North Korea about sending a delegation next Monday to check its investigation into the fate of people abducted by Pyongyang decades ago, government sources said Tuesday.

The delegation, to be led by Junichi Ihara, director general of the Foreign Ministry's Asian and Oceanian Affairs Bureau, is expected to be in North Korea for four to five days, the sources said.

Earlier Tuesday, Foreign Minister Fumio Kishida said the government had yet to decide on the timing of the dispatch as the two countries are still discussing the matter through their embassies in Beijing.