Reports say North Korea has handed Japan a list of at least 10 Japanese nationals who are said to be living in the country, including those believed to have been kidnapped by Pyongyang agents.
Tokyo will reportedly lift a ban on North Koreans entering Japan, waive the reporting requirement for remitting more than 100,000 yen ($US1,000) in cash and end the prohibition on some North Korean ships entering Japanese ports.
The move comes after the two sides met in Beijing on Tuesday to discuss what happened to the dozens - or even hundreds - of people Japan says were kidnapped by North Korean spies during the Cold War.
North Korea admitted in 2002 that it had kidnapped 13 Japanese citizens to train its spies in Japanese language and customs.
Mr Abe says North Korea has pledged to reinvestigate the disappearance of missing Japanese citizens and that their efforts needed to be reciprocated.
The Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe has announced Tokyo will lift some of its sanctions on North Korea.
Read more here: ABC