On Nov. 20, Foreign Minister Taro Kono met with Raynold B. Oilouch, vice president of the Pacific island nation of Palau, at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. The two leaders agreed to enhance their cooperation to realize the “Free and Open Indo-Pacific Strategy” proposed by Prime Minister Shinzo Abe. They also confirmed the policy of maximizing pressure on North Korea, which persists in conducting nuclear tests and launching ballistic missiles.
At the meeting, the two leaders agreed to cooperate to ensure the success of the eighth Pacific Islands Leaders Meeting, which will be held next May in Iwaki City, Fukushima Prefecture. They also confirmed the importance of continuing to cooperate in the field of fisheries in light of the operation of Japanese fishing boats in the seas around Palau and the collection of Japanese remains on Peleliu Island, which was the site of a fierce battle during the Pacific War.
Kono explained the Japanese government’s approach to handling North Korea, including the abductions issue. Vice President Oilouch said his nation supports Japan’s position.
Prior to his meeting with Kono, Oilouch met with Deputy Chief Cabinet Secretary Yasutoshi Nishimura at the Prime Minister’s Office [Kantei].