The Yomiuri Shimbun Prime Minister Shinzo Abe welcomed the decision to hold talks between U.S. President Donald Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un on June 12 in Singapore, while expressing his expectation for progress on the issue of Japanese citizens abducted by North Korea and other issues.
“I welcome the official selection of a date and location for the summit,” Abe told reporters in Sapporo. “I strongly expect the historic U.S.-North Korea summit to be an opportunity for moving forward on the nuclear and missile issue as well as on the abduction issue, which is of the greatest importance.”
“Further preparations will be made going forward. I would like to convey Japan’s views to the U.S. government and work on preparations together with the United States,” Abe added.
Foreign Minister Taro Kono said at the House of Representatives Foreign Committee on Friday morning, “The international community has the position of calling for the complete, verifiable and irreversible dismantlement of weapons of mass destruction, such as nuclear arms, and ballistic missiles.”
“I hope that President Trump will firmly negotiate with North Korea on behalf of the international community,” Kono added, expressing his expectation that progress will be made on the nuclear and missile issue at the anticipated summit.
The government has a positive view on holding the summit talks in Singapore because of its neutrality, according to diplomatic sources. “Prior to the official announcement, the U.S. side informed the Japanese government of the date of the summit,” a government source said.
Abe hopes to hold a meeting with Trump on the sidelines of the Group of Seven summit to be held on June 8 and 9 in Charlevoix, Canada, just before the U.S.-North Korea conference.
At the meeting with Trump, the prime minister intends to reach a common understanding with the U.S. president on how to handle the nuclear and missile issue and again request that he raise the abduction issue. “This will be the best time for coordinating opinions between Japan and the United States before the U.S.-North Korea summit,” a senior Foreign Ministry official said.Speech