For the first time since 2007, Japan will not take part in the submission of a draft joint resolution condemning North Korea's human rights abuses to a U.N. panel, the government said Wednesday, in a conciliatory gesture apparently aimed at convincing Pyongyang to hold talks with Tokyo.

The turnaround reflects Prime Minister Shinzo Abe's desire to settle the issue of Pyongyang's past abductions of Japanese nationals — a top priority of his administration, according to government sources.

Tokyo has jointly presented such a motion with the European Union to the 47-member U.N. Human Rights Council for the last 11 years.