Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and Mozambican President Filipe Jacinto Nyusi jointly condemned North Korea’s recent ballistic missile launches in a meeting in Tokyo on Wednesday, according to a joint statement released after the talks.
Mozambique is one of the few countries that maintain cordial relations with North Korea, making it crucial for Japan to get the country to discourage weapons trade between African nations and North Korea.
The two leaders “condemned in the strongest terms North Korea’s nuclear tests and repeated missile launches and underlined the need to maintain peace, security and stability in the region by fully implementing the relevant U.N. Security Council resolutions,” the statement reads.
The Mozambican president is visiting Japan for four days through Thursday as the two countries mark 40 years of diplomatic relations.
The leaders also discussed North Korea’s March 6 launch of four missiles nearly simultaneously into the Sea of Japan, which fell as close as 200 km from the Japanese coast.
Nyusi expressed his support for Abe’s efforts to pursue a peaceful resolution to the issues presented by North Korea’s nuclear and missile programs and the abduction of Japanese nationals in the 1970s and 1980s.
Abe and Nyusi also reaffirmed their commitment to maintaining a rules-based order at sea in accordance with international law, including the U.N. Convention on the Law of the Sea, and expressed strong opposition to any unilateral actions that could alter the status quo and increase tensions at sea.
Such language is typically used by the government to caution against expansionary activities by China in the East and South China seas.
“Japan highly values its ties with Mozambique, a country that faces the Indian Ocean and is blessed with abundant natural resources,” Abe said at the outset of the meeting.
“I hope our bilateral ties will be raised to a higher level through this visit,” Nyusi replied.
Earlier Wednesday, Nyusi met Emperor Akihito and Empress Michiko at the Imperial Palace in Tokyo.
Japanese Self-Defense Forces personnel participated in U.N. peacekeeping operations in Mozambique from 1993 to 1995.
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