U.S. foreign policy figures have not opposed the idea of Japan lifting its own sanctions against North Korea if the reclusive state returns all Japanese nationals it abducted decades ago, the head of the abductee family group said Tuesday.

The U.S. side "raised no objection" to the bargaining policy adopted by the group in February, Takuya Yokota said during a news conference in Washington. His older sister, Megumi, was abducted by North Korea when she was 13 years old.

After arriving in the United States on Monday, Yokota and accompanying group members met with Daniel Kritenbrink, U.S. assistant secretary of state for East Asian and Pacific affairs, Sen. William Hagerty, former U.S. ambassador to Japan, and other key figures to call for their understanding of the group's compromise resolution to realize the abduction victims' early return.

Mentioning Prime Minister Fumio Kishida's efforts for a summit with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un, Yokota said, "We want to cherish the signs (of dialogue)."

"There is no need to be upset" by Pyongyang's claim that the abduction issue has been resolved and its refusal to hold talks, Yokota also said. Then he demanded that Tokyo carry out "strong diplomatic negotiations behind closed doors."

Joining the news conference, Koichiro Iizuka, whose mother, Yaeko Taguchi, was abducted at age 22, called the de facto abolition of a U.N. panel monitoring North Korea's compliance with U.N. sanctions "a negative development," expressing worries that the international community's pressure on the country will decrease.

The visiting members urged senior U.S. government officials to consider alternative measures with Japan and other countries concerned, the oldest son of Taguchi noted.