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Tokyo torn between U.S., Russia over Syria

All Sunday dailies wrote in opinion pieces that while Japan supports the military action against Syria by the U.S. and its two European partners based on the assessment that the airstrikes will serve as a warning to North Korea, it is concerned about the likely deterioration of U.S.-Russia relations because it believes that Moscow will be able to play an important role in applying pressure on the DPRK. Prime Minister Abe also reportedly does not want Japan’s ties with Russia to become strained over the Syrian issue since he is keen to maintain a positive relationship with President Putin prior to their planned meeting in Russia in May in order to resolve the Northern Territories dispute. The papers predicted that the Syrian issue will probably be raised during Abe’s meeting with President Trump in Mar-a-Lago.    

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