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Suga: Monitor situation closely

The Yomiuri Shimbun Regarding U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo’s request for Japan to join an international coalition to protect the Strait of Hormuz, Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga told a news conference on Friday morning, “I’d like to refrain from [unveiling] any diplomatic exchanges with the U.S. government,” without elaborating.

Suga only added, “We are closely monitoring the situation while collecting information in cooperation with related countries.”

Foreign Minister Taro Kono held telephone talks with Pompeo on Friday morning. The Foreign Ministry said they discussed North Korea’s launch of short-range ballistic missiles. They are also believed to have exchanged views on the plan to form a coalition of the willing in the Strait of Hormuz.

Meanwhile, Defense Minister Takeshi Iwaya told reporters at the Defense Ministry that a liaison officer in Tampa, Fla., attended a meeting of the countries involved in the coalition. “We will consider how to respond after listening to [that person’s] report carefully,” Iwaya said. The meeting was organized by the United States.Speech

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