Japan and North Korea will hold talks around the middle of this month, the Asahi Shimbun reported Tuesday. The newspaper reported that North Korea told Japan it was willing to take part in talks between officials in the foreign ministries.
The Japanese government is discussing the timing and agenda of the meeting with the North Korean Embassy in China.
Already in August, Japanese and North Korean officials met in Beijing and agreed to hold a meeting between more senior officials in the near future.
On top of the agenda will be verifying the fates of Japanese citizens abducted by North Korean agents in the 1970s and '80s.
Tokyo believes there are more than a dozen victims still alive in the North, although Pyongyang insists the issue was closed in 2002, when five of them were returned to Japan.