Abe, Pence reaffirm cooperation on North Korea
NHK -- Nov 14
Japan's Prime Minister Shinzo Abe has pledged greater cooperation with the United States on denuclearizing the Korean Peninsula. Abe met US Vice President Mike Pence in Tokyo on Tuesday.

Abe said, "Today, Vice President Pence and I had an in-depth discussion on North Korea. And we have agreed on the need for complete compliance with the UN Security Council's resolutions to achieve a complete denuclearization of the Korean peninsula."

Pence said, "The pressure campaign will continue, the sanctions will remain in full force, until we achieve the final, fully verified denuclearization of North Korea. The United States, Japan and the world will accept nothing less."

North Korea has been hit with a number of UN sanctions over its nuclear and missile programs.

They target in part exports of coal and oil.

The country has been accused of trying to evade the sanctions through illicit maritime trade -- something Abe addressed. He said, "We have also reaffirmed that Japan and the United States should continue to cooperate to respond to ship-to-ship cargo transfers banned by the UN Security Council resolution."

Pence and Abe also touched on trade.

Earlier this year, Abe and the US President agreed to enter into negotiations on a trade agreement.

The US is looking to lower its trade deficit with the country -- a statement Pence echoed.

He said, "The United States has had a trade imbalance with Japan for too long, and American products and services too often face barriers to compete fairly in Japanese markets. It's for that reason that we welcome steps that have been taken to address these issues over the past two years, beginning with the US-Japan Economic Dialogue.

But the best opportunity of free, fair and reciprocal trade will come in a bilateral trade agreement.

News source: NHK
May 29
Economic revitalization minister Yasutoshi Nishimura and National Governors’ Association Chairman Kamon Iizumi agreed Thursday to work together in promoting “a new way of living” and migration to rural areas to prevent the spread of the novel coronavirus. (Japan Times)
May 28
The Japanese government has compiled a second supplementary budget for the current fiscal year in response to the coronavirus pandemic. The planned spending of 31.9 trillion yen, or more than 296 billion dollars, is a record for a supplementary budget. (NHK)
May 22
Many Japanese local municipalities are struggling to distribute the universal ¥100,000 coronavirus cash relief due to a heavy workload resulting from handling online applications. (Japan Times)
May 22
The head of the Tokyo High Public Prosecutor's Office, who has been the focus of intense scrutiny over his close relationship with the administration of Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, submitted his resignation Thursday following a report that he had participated in a game of mahjong while gambling with newspaper employees. (Japan Times)
May 22
The Japanese government's coronavirus advisory panel has expressed support for the administration's plan to lift the state of emergency in three prefectures in western Japan. (NHK)
May 20
Japan on Tuesday urged the World Health Organization to allow Taiwan to join its plenary sessions as an observer to discuss the global response to the new coronavirus pandemic. (Japan Today)
May 19
The government and ruling coalition parties agreed Monday to shelve a plan to enact a law to extend the retirement age of prosecutors during the current Diet session, amid heated criticism from the Japanese public led by celebrities who have taken to Twitter to express their opposition. (Japan Today)
May 18
During a House of Representatives Cabinet Committee meeting on May 13, Takuya Hirai, a member of the Liberal Democratic Party, was photographed watching a video of a crocodile on his tablet. Unsurprisingly, the video was not at all related to the meeting’s topic, which was about the retirement age for prosecutors. (Japan Today)
May 18
While China’s tensions with the United States and Australia have been sharply intensifying over its handling of the new coronavirus outbreak, the Asian power has been apparently aiming to bolster ties with its neighbors — Japan and South Korea. (Japan Times)
May 16
Japanese Prime Minister Abe Shinzo has renewed his call to keep thorough measures in place to prevent the spread of the coronavirus, after lifting the state of emergency in 39 prefectures. (NHK)