• Kyodo


The government refrained Tuesday from indicating whether it would join other nations in endorsing opposition leader Juan Guaido as Venezuela’s legitimate president.

“Japan strongly hopes that movement toward recovering democracy in the country goes smoothly and continues to monitor the positions of various nations,” Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga told a news conference.

Many European Union nations and Latin American countries, in addition to the United States, have expressed their support for Guaido, who is the president of the National Assembly.

Russia and China have long backed embattled President Nicolas Maduro.

“It is regrettable that the Venezuelan government held an inauguration ceremony for its president without fulfilling its accountability (to the people),” the top Japanese government spokesman also said, in an apparent reference to the swearing in of Maduro for his second term last month after an election in May last year.

Major opposition forces in Venezuela boycotted the presidential race amid allegations of irregularities.

On Monday, Prime Minister Shinzo Abe did not clearly state a position on the issue, merely saying that his country wishes for a democratic, peaceful and stable resolution.

German Chancellor Angela Merkel, who met the press along with Abe after their talks in Tokyo that day, said Guaido is the rightful person to take part in talks with Berlin and other European nations.

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