In a statement released by the Korean Central News Agency (KCNA), the DPRK Foreign Ministry said the DPRK Red Cross Society has notified the Japanese side of the whereabouts of 11 Japanese, who had been allegedly abducted.
The statement said that "It is regretful that these issues surfaced in the past as a product of the abnormal relationship between the DPRK and Japan," and that "We will prevent such things from happening in the future."
The statement said facilities would be provided to the survivors identified, and reunions with their families and returns to their hometowns would be arranged if necessary.
Japan claimed that 11 Japanese nationals were abducted by the DPRK in the 1970s and 1980s. This was long denied by the DPRK side.
According to a Japanese foreign ministry spokesman earlier in the day, the DPRK said that four of the 11 are still alive and the rest dead, and that the deaths were caused by illness and calamities.
He added that the DPRK admitted the Japanese were abducted by DPRK special institutions and said those responsible for the abductions had been punished.