Prime Minister Shinzo Abe on Friday expressed support for the punitive U.S. missile strike on Syria, saying he understands that it was "a measure to prevent further deterioration of the situation."

"In Syria many innocent citizens have been victimized with chemical weapons again," Abe told reporters at the Prime Minister's Office. "This is extremely inhumane and also violates United Nations resolutions."

He added: "The Japanese government supports the U.S. government's determination never to tolerate the further spread and use of chemical weapons."