Photo/IllutrationChief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga holds a news conference at the prime minister’s office in Tokyo on April 9. (Takeshi Iwashita)

Japan will extend its sanctions against North Korea for an additional two years because Pyongyang has taken no concrete action toward abandoning its nuclear and missile development programs, the government said.

“We will do our best to resolve the nuclear and missile issues and, above all, the abduction issue while working in close cooperation with the international community,” Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga said at a news conference held after the decision was reached at a Cabinet meeting on April 9.

The Japanese sanctions include prohibiting North Korea-registered vessels from entering Japanese ports and banning both exports and imports with the country. The sanctions are effective until April 13.

In addition to sanctions based on United Nations Security Council resolutions, Japan started imposing its own sanctions against North Korea after Pyongyang test-fired a ballistic missile in 2006. Tokyo gradually strengthened its sanctions after North Korea conducted nuclear tests.

In 2014, after North Korea started a re-investigation into its abduction of Japanese nationals in the 1970s and 1980s, the Japanese government lifted part of the sanctions.

Later, however, Tokyo strengthened the sanctions again after another North Korean nuclear test.

For 11 straight years, Japan had submitted resolutions criticizing North Korea about the abduction issue to the U.N. Human Rights Council.

But earlier this year, Japan did not submit such a resolution in an apparent attempt by the Abe administration to seek dialogue with Pyongyang toward resolving the issue.

Japan’s decision to extend the sanctions came after North Korea showed no appreciation for the move not to submit the resolution.

“As for North Korea, we will judge what is the most effective while watching the various moves (of Pyongyang),” Suga said at the news conference.