With Mongolian stopover, Abe sought progress on North Korean abductions

Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe.

TOKYO -- Prime Minister Shinzo Abe's trip to Mongolia on his Central Asian tour highlights his unusually deep connection to the country, aimed in part at bringing answers to decades-old questions surrounding Japanese nationals abducted by North Korea.

Abe swung by Mongolia for five hours Thursday. President Tsakhiagiin Elbegdorj welcomed him to the capital, Ulaanbaatar, thanking him for visiting as promised. During a Sept. 27 reception at the residence of the Japanese ambassador to the United Nations in New York, the president had asked the prime minister to include Mongolia in his Central Asia tour. Abe replied that he would look into it, though an overnight stay could be difficult to fit in.

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