Japan decided on Tuesday to extend the economic sanctions it imposed on North Korea for another six months, Chief Cabinet secretary Yasuhisa Shiozaki said.
The decision, made at a Cabinet meeting, will continue barring North Korean ships from entering Japanese ports, imports from North Korea and blocking North Korean people from entering Japan.
Shiozaki told a press conference that Japan made the decision after "judging in a comprehensive manner" various circumstances surrounding North Korea, including the nuclear issue.
Japan started imposing a number of sanction measures on North Korea in October 2006, after Pyongyang announced that it had carried out its first nuclear test.
Since July 2006, Japan has also banned the cargo-passenger ferry Mangyongbong-92, the only direct passenger link between the two countries, from making port calls to Japan following a series of missile launches by the North Korea.
(Xinhua News Agency April 10, 2007)