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Japan has criticised as "extremely regrettable" Washington's decision to remove North Korea from its list of state sponsors of terrorism.
Japan opposed the move because it first wanted North Korea to provide more information about Japanese citizens it abducted in the 1970s and 1980s.
With North Korea being checked off the U.S. list of state sponsors of terrorism, Japan will be forced to be more proactive itself in seeking to resolve the emotive issue of Pyongyang’s past abductions, as Tokyo can no longer depend on its closest ally the United States and faces raised hurdles in pressing its case at the six-party nuclear talks.
Japanese leaders reacted calmly Sunday to the delisting, with Prime Minister Taro Aso dismissing concerns that it would be a ‘‘loss of leverage’’ in resolving the abduction issue and showed some acceptance to the U.S. decision by saying ‘‘it’s one way’’ to get things moving.