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Abe Pledges Diplomatic Coordination on North Korea

  • VOA News

Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, right, leader of the Liberal Democratic Party, poses with vice president Masahiko Komura for photos as he marks on the name of one of those elected in the parliamentary lower house election at the party headquarters in Tokyo, Sunday, Oct. 22, 2017.

Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe said Monday he hopes to use "decisive and strong diplomacy" to resolve issues related to North Korea's nuclear and missile programs.

"We will deepen our coordination with the international community so as to let North Korea change their course," Abe said.

He spoke to reporters a day after a general election that gave his coalition a two-thirds super majority in the lower house of parliament.

Abe said the North Korea issue would be part of the discussion when U.S. President Donald Trump visits Japan next month.

Japan's Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, leader of the Liberal Democratic Party, greets his supporters after making a speech at an election campaign rally in Tokyo, Japan, Oct. 20, 2017.
Japan's Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, leader of the Liberal Democratic Party, greets his supporters after making a speech at an election campaign rally in Tokyo, Japan, Oct. 20, 2017.

Seeking to take advantage of rising public support for his hardline stance against the North Korean nuclear threat, Abe recently dissolved the lower house of parliament to call for a "snap" election this month, rather than wait for the legislative term to end in December, 2018.

But the Japanese public remains divided over Abe's proposal to allow the military more latitude to counter potential threats from countries like North Korea and China, and to support allies like the United States.

FILE - President Donald Trump, right, speaks during a meeting with Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe at the G20 Summit, July 8, 2017, in Hamburg, Germany.
FILE - President Donald Trump, right, speaks during a meeting with Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe at the G20 Summit, July 8, 2017, in Hamburg, Germany.

President Trump's threatening rhetoric to totally destroy North Korea if attacked has heightened concerns for Abe opponents, who argue that loosening restrictions on the use of force will entangle Japan in U.S.-led conflicts.

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