Suga meets with Mike Pence in Washington; pair vow cooperation over North Korea missiles


Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga and U.S. Vice President Mike Pence on Friday agreed that the two countries will cooperate at every level in responding to North Korea’s firing of short-range ballistic missiles.

During their meeting in Washington, Suga asked for U.S. cooperation for an early resolution of the issue of North Korea’s abductions of Japanese citizens.

Suga and Pence agreed on the importance of fully implementing U.N. Security Council sanctions resolutions on North Korea.

Suga conveyed Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s determination to hold a meeting with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un without preconditions.,

Regarding U.S.-China trade negotiations, Suga called for efforts to seek a constructive solution through dialogue.

As for trade talks between Japan and the United States, Suga and Pence agreed that their countries will speed up discussions based on their relationship of trust.

Their meeting preceded U.S. President Donald Trump’s visit to Japan as a state guest set for May 25-28. Suga and Pence concurred that the two countries will make the visit an opportunity to demonstrate the unprecedented strength of their alliance throughout the world.

The two officials confirmed their countries’ commitment to steadily implementing the U.S. military realignment in Japan to ease Okinawa Prefecture’s burden of hosting U.S. bases while maintaining deterrence.

They exchanged views on the planned relocation of the U.S. Marine Corps Air Station Futenma from Ginowan to the Henoko district of Nago.

Also agreed on was bilateral cooperation in implementing the free and open Indo-Pacific vision originally proposed by Abe.