Japan's FM reportedly says Tokyo will partially lift N, Korea sanctions

Japan decided to partially lift its sanctions against North Korea after the communist nation promised a new probe into its kidnappings of Japanese citizens in the 1970s and 80s, news reports said Friday. Kyodo News agency and national broadcaster NKH quoted Foreign Minister Masahiko Komura as saying Pyongyang also agreed to cooperate in the investigation of the 1970 hijacking of a Japanese jet that was flown to North Korea. The reports did not specify which sanctions would be lifted, or when that might happen. The Foreign Ministry refused to immediately confirm the reports. North Korea's official news agency, the Korean Central News Agency, also reported Pyongyang would "reinvestigate" the abductions, while expressing willingness to cooperate in the hijacking case. KCNA said Japan would lift restrictions on visits to Japan by North Korean officials and the use of chartered planes, and allow North Korean-flagged ships to make port-calls in Japan to transport "cargo related to humanitarian aid."