Paraguayan police have issued arrest warrants for seven Paraguayans suspected of kidnapping two Japanese citizens and two Paraguayans earlier this month.

Japanese businessman Hirokazu Ota and his secretary Sawako Takayama were abducted April 1 by gunmen on a highway in southeastern Paraguay in the Caaguazu region. The secretary was released last week.

The kidnappers also seized a Paraguayan policeman and his girlfriend who tried to report the incident.

Ota, 62, is a member of a Christian religious movement known as the Unification Church, founded by South Korean Reverend Sun Myung Moon.

The Reuters news agency says a statement from the Federation of Families for World Peace and Unity, an organization related to the Unification Church, called on the government to back off the case, saying its own negotiations had reached an agreement with the kidnappers on a ransom payment.

Some information for this report was provided by AP and Reuters.