The Daily Manila Shimbun


Japan, US agree on need to avoid N. Korea contingencies

August 17, 2017

WASHINGTON- Japan and the United States agreed Wednesday that it would be important for the two countries to avoid a contingency situation in responding to North Korea's threat to launch ballistic missiles over western Japan into waters near the US Pacific territory of Guam.

The agreement came when visiting Japanese Foreign Minister Taro Kono and Defense Minister Itsunori Onodera held talks with H.R. McMaster, national security adviser to US President Donald Trump, in Washington.

They also shared the view that Japan and the United States must cooperate to make thorough preparations, according to Onodera.

"We hope to foster close communication at all levels" with the United States, Onodera told reporters after the meeting. "Our countries share common awareness of the issues."

After arriving in Washington on Wednesday, Kono and Onodera laid flowers at the Arlington National Cemetery near the US capital.

Kono met with former US Secretary of State Madeleine Albright, a teacher of Kono when he was a student at Georgetown University in Washington. Albright gave Kono encouragement, saying that she is confident of Kono's success as foreign minister.

Onodera exchanged opinions with John Hamre, president of the Center for Strategic and International Studies, a US think tank.

On Thursday, Kono and Onodera will attend a so-called two-plus-two bilateral security meeting with US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson and US Defense Secretary James Mattis.

"It's important to stop North Korea's threatening acts through diplomatic efforts," Onodera said, stressing the need of economic sanctions and pressure from the international community. Jiji Press