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Originally published Thursday, August 9, 2012 at 12:59 AM

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Japan, North Korea hold talks on returning remains

Red Cross officials from Japan and North Korea are meeting in Beijing to discuss the possible repatriation of the remains of Japanese who died in the North at the end of World War II.

The Associated Press

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BEIJING —

Red Cross officials from Japan and North Korea are meeting in Beijing to discuss the possible repatriation of the remains of Japanese who died in the North at the end of World War II.

The talks that began Thursday and were to continue on Friday morning are the first between the two Red Cross societies in a decade. That's a sign of the extreme strain in relations between the two countries, which have no diplomatic ties and have held no intergovernmental talks since 2008.

Japan says about 43,600 of its soldiers and civilians died in North Korea in the chaos following the end of the war in August 1945. Only the remains of about 13,000 have been repatriated to Japan.

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