As the government's new point man on the abduction of Japanese citizens by North Korean agents, Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga said he will do all in his power to bring the issue to a close and secure the safe return of all who were kidnapped.

Suga, Japan's top government spokesman, was tapped to double as the abduction minister in a reshuffle of Prime Minister Shinzo Abe's Cabinet earlier this month. It is his first time to tackle the post.

"Upon my inauguration as the abduction minister, Prime Minister Abe told me not to let the slightest opportunity slip through our fingers," Suga said in a joint interview with media outlets, including The Japan Times, on Thursday.