The government removed a reference to applying "maximum pressure" on North Korea and stopped short of explicitly claiming ownership of the Russian-held islands off Hokkaido in an annual foreign policy report released Tuesday.

The concessions are apparently aimed at easing diplomatic tensions as Prime Minister Shinzo Abe attempts to resolve long-standing issues with both countries while he is in office.

In its Diplomatic Bluebook 2019, the Foreign Ministry said North Korea has not taken any substantive steps to give up its nuclear weapons and ballistic missiles despite repeated calls to do so from the international community.