• Kyodo

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Japan and Norway have agreed to step up cooperation on whaling as well as research and development of the Arctic.

“I would like to strengthen cooperation on policy addressing the Arctic and (efforts to) spread the rule of law at sea,” Foreign Minister Fumio Kishida said at the outset of a meeting Monday with his Norwegian counterpart, Boerge Brende, in Tokyo, which was open to the media.

Brende showed a readiness to beef up bilateral economic and political relations, saying that “the relationship between Japan and Norway is warm and friendly.”

The ministers also discussed China’s rising assertiveness in the South and East China seas and agreed that they will work together closely for the maintenance of international order based on the rule of law, the Foreign Ministry said.

They also confirmed the need to strengthen pressure on North Korea as the reclusive state continues to conduct nuclear tests and missile launches despite international opposition, the ministry said.

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