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Abe, Trump to confirm cooperation over North Korea

Tokyo, Aug. 19 (Jiji Press) — Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and U.S. President Donald Trump are likely to confirm their countries’ cooperation on dealing with North Korea when they meet on the sidelines of a Group of Seven summit in Biarritz, France, which starts on Saturday.

The two leaders are also expected to discuss a U.S.-proposed coalition to ensure safe navigation in the Strait of Hormuz and bilateral trade talks.

At their previous meeting in Osaka, Japan, on June 28, Abe and Trump confirmed their countries’ close cooperation to resolve North Korea’s nuclear, missile and abduction issues.

North Korea has conducted six rounds of launches of projectiles, including short-range ballistic missiles, since late July, amid Trump’s tolerance of such firings.

During his coming meeting with Trump, Abe is likely to express Tokyo’s readiness to further strengthen its alliance with Washington to improve deterrence against Pyongyang.

In addition, Abe plans to ask Trump for cooperation in holding a meeting with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un in an effort to resolve North Korea’s abductions of Japanese citizens.

Abe is expected to stress the need for diplomatic efforts to ease tensions in the Middle East. Japan remains cautious about the maritime coalition in light of its friendly ties with Iran.

The Japanese and U.S. leaders are likely to confirm their countries’ plan to accelerate trade talks to reach a broad agreement in September.

Trump has complained repeatedly about his country’s trade deficits with Japan in past bilateral summits with Abe.

During his visit to Biarritz, Abe will also hold talks with French President Emmanuel Macron, who will chair the G-7 summit, and British Prime Minister Boris Johnson, who took office last month.

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