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Following is a gist of a joint statement issued by Foreign Minister Taro Kono and Defense Minister Itsunori Onodera, and U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson and Defense Secretary James Mattis, following their “two-plus-two” security talks in Washington on Thursday:

— North Korea’s recurring provocations and development of nuclear and ballistic missile capabilities pose an increasing threat to regional and international peace and stability.

— The United States offers its full range of capabilities, including nuclear forces, for the security of Japan.

— Japan intends to expand its role in the bilateral alliance, while both sides will study new ways of collaboration under Japan’s new security legislation.

— Japan and the United States will continue to pressure North Korea, in cooperation with other countries, to compel it to end its nuclear and missile programs and achieve the denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula.

— China is strongly encouraged to take decisive measures to urge North Korea to change its course of action.

— The Senkaku islands in the East China Sea are subject to U.S. defense obligations under Article 5 of the Japan-U.S. security treaty.

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