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PM Abe starts diplomatic campaign for spring 2018 with U.S. visit

Prime Minister Shinzo Abe will kick off his “diplomatic spring” with his visit to the U.S. on April 17-20. He will discuss basic policy on the U.S.-DPRK summit with President Donald Trump. Since this summit will have a decisive impact on the North Korea situation from now on, he would like to make utmost efforts to convey Japan’s thinking on North Korea’s denuclearization and missile issues. He will also engage in close coordination aiming at setting a clear course for the resolution of the abduction issue, which is Japan’s “top priority issue,” at the U.S.-DPRK summit.

 

Based on the basic policy on North Korea that he will coordinate with Trump at their summit meeting, Abe will embark on his other diplomatic activities, aiming at rebuilding the encirclement of North Korea, which has been weakened by North Korea’s smile diplomacy. The encirclement that was finally built in the second half of last year is now evolving into a “Japan and the U.S. versus China, Russia, the ROK, and the DPRK” paradigm. Abe wants to restore the encirclement to its original form in order to put pressure on North Korea for the resolution of the denuclearization and abduction issues.

 

Major diplomatic events in the next few months

 

April 15

Japan-China foreign ministerial (in Japan)

April 16

Japan-China high-level economic dialogue

April 17-20

PM Abe visits the U.S. for bilateral summit

April 22-24

G7 foreign ministers’ meeting

April 27

Inter-Korean summit in Panmunjom

Early May

Abe’s Middle East tour

Around May 9

Japan-China-ROK summit (in Japan)

May 18-19

Pacific Islands Leaders Meeting (PALM)

May 21

G20 foreign ministers’ meeting (in Argentina)

Late May

Abe visits Russia for bilateral summit

May-June

U.S.-DPRK summit

June 8-9

G7 Summit (in Canada)

 

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