North Korean and Japanese professional medical associations have agreed that they will deepen exchanges about health care technology, according to a Japanese physician who returned from Pyongyang on Thursday.

Mitsuaki Maseki, chairman of the Japan Medical Association's House of Delegates, also told reporters at Beijing airport en route to Japan that North Korea's physicians organization is willing to enter the World Medical Association.

(Mitsuaki Maseki (R) and Mitsuaki Maseki)

Maseki visited North Korea from Saturday, along with former Japanese lawmakers such as Hideki Miyazaki, a former upper house member of Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe's ruling Liberal Democratic Party.

It was the first time for Japan's largest professional organization for physicians to send its senior official to North Korea to offer medical aid. The idea of the visit was proposed by Yoshitake Yokokura, president of the association, close to Abe.

Maseki said the Japanese group visited four facilities in North Korea's capital, including the Pyongyang Maternity Hospital, known as the country's top hospital for women's health.

The Japanese medical association will consider what kind of support it can provide for North Korea, Maseki said.

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