A bipartsian group of Japanese lawmakers has called off their planned visit to North Korea next week after objections from within the ruling and opposition parties.
The group was formed to promote Tokyo's diplomatic normalisation with Pyongyang. They have been trying to promote a dialogue between the two countries on the North's nuclear development program and the abduction issue.
The delegation, headed by lower house vice speaker Seishiro Eto, were scheduled to visit Pyongyang from Nov 9. They had planned to meet senior officials of the North Korean government and the ruling communist party, as well as attend the Japan-North Korea World Cup soccer qualifying match.
Foreign Minister Koichiro Gemba told a news conference on Friday that such a visit to North Korea would not be appropriate at this time, considering the current tensions between Japan and North Korea.
Theer has been little progress made on both the abduction issue and the nuclear talks. The Japanese government has imposed sanctions on North Korea and Gemba said that the lawmakers should follow government policy.© 2011 AFP