Officials in Japan say police have raided several sites believed to be connected to the alleged 1980 kidnapping of a Japanese man by North Korean agents.
Authorities have not specified where Thursday's raids were conducted, but reports from Japan say they included a business group in Osaka prefecture and a Chinese restaurant where the alleged kidnap victim, Tadaaki Hara, was employed before he disappeared.
Japan's chief cabinet secretary, Shinzo Abe, says he hopes the raids will reveal more information, so that Tokyo can firmly demand North Korea hand over suspects believed to be connected to the abduction dispute.
The North Korean government has admitted kidnapping 13 Japanese nationals in the 1970s and 80s to help train spies. Pyongyang has released five people and says the other eight are dead. Japan wants proof of their deaths and says there are other cases of suspected abductions.
Some information for this report was provided by AFP and AP .