Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and U.S. President Donald Trump in phone talks on Saturday reaffirmed close cooperation between their countries toward resolving the issue of North Korea's abductions of Japanese nationals decades ago and Pyongyang's nuclear and missile programs.
"President Trump and I closely coordinated our countries' future responses (to North Korea)," Abe told reporters after the 75-minute phone conversation, which took place at the request of the U.S. leader. "Japan resolutely denounces North Korea's provocative actions," Abe added.
Abe reiterated Japan's support for the June 2018 U.S.-North Korea agreement, which was aimed at realizing the complete denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula. Japan will strongly urge Pyongyang to work on the denuclearization by way of peaceful dialogue, not through dangerous provocation, he added.
Abe said he will take up the denuclearization issue during his visit to China from Monday, where the Japanese leader is slated to meet with Chinese President Xi Jinping and South Korean President Moon Jae-in. The Abe-Trump phone talks came at a time when North Korea is increasing its provocative stance.
The prime minister gave Trump an explanation on the result of his meeting with Iranian President Hassan Rouhani in Tokyo on Friday. He told the U.S. president that Japan will continue diplomatic efforts to help ease tensions in the Middle East and stabilize the situation in the region, while maintaining close cooperation with the United States.
Abe also told Trump that the Diet, Japan's parliament, approved a Japan-U.S. trade agreement early this month. The bilateral trade deal is expected to go into effect on Jan. 1, 2020.