March 31, 2015 / 1:53 AM / 2 years ago

Japan extends sanctions on North Korea by two years

North Korean leader Kim Jong Un gives field guidance at the construction site of the Kumsanpho Pickled Fish Processing Factory and the Kumsanpho Fishery Station in this undated photo released by North Korea's Korean Central News Agency (KCNA) in Pyongyang March 27, 2015.KCNA ATTENTION EDITORS - THIS PICTURE WAS PROVIDED BY A THIRD PARTY. REUTERS IS UNABLE TO INDEPENDENTLY VERIFY THE AUTHENTICITY, CONTENT, LOCATION OR DATE OF THIS IMAGE. FOR EDITORIAL USE ONLY. NOT FOR SALE FOR MARKETING OR ADVERTISING CAMPAIGNS. THIS PICTURE IS DISTRIBUTED EXACTLY AS RECEIVED BY REUTERS, AS A SERVICE TO CLIENTS. NO THIRD PARTY SALES. SOUTH KOREA OUT. NO COMMERCIAL OR EDITORIAL SALES IN SOUTH KOREA.

TOKYO (Reuters) - Japan has decided to extend sanctions on North Korea in response to Pyongyang's delay in reporting on its investigation into the abductions of Japanese citizens decades ago, the top government spokesman said on Tuesday.

Japan will extend a trade embargo on North Korea and a ban on North Korean ships entering Japanese ports, except if there are humanitarian reasons, by two years.

Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga told a news conference that Japan will continue to urge Pyongyang to report on its probe into the abduction issue swiftly and make the utmost effort to return all the abductees.

Reporting by Kaori Kaneko; Editing by Chris Gallagher

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