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Tokyo: The Japanese government has strongly criticised North Korea's decision to halt its investigation into the fate of abducted Japanese nationals.
Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga on Monday called North Korea's decision extremely regrettable and totally unacceptable, public broadcaster NHK reported.
He said Japan has filed a strong protest with North Korea and demanded that it return all abductees to Japan as soon as possible based on a bilateral agreement reached in Stockholm in 2014.
The agreement calls on North Korea to start a fresh investigation into the whereabouts of the missing Japanese nationals.
Suga said the abduction issue is extremely important to Prime Minister Shinzo Abe's administration.
He said the government will pressure North Korea to resolve it based on the principles of "dialogue and pressure" and "action for action". (IANS)