March 21, 2018

Shinzo Abe hails 'fresh start' to Japan-China ties after Xi meeting

14 November 2017, 10:54 | Opal Carroll

Japan's PM Abe arrives in PH for ASEAN-related summits

Watch: Japanese PM Shinzo Abe takes a tumble playing round of golf with Trump

Abe, whose country is separated from North Korea only by the Sea of Japan, called the North Korea's nuclear and missile threat a "grave and imminent threat that we have never experienced".

Manila, Nov. 13 (Jiji Press)-Japanese Prime Minister Abe Shinzō and Chinese Premier Li Keqiang agreed Monday to boost efforts to improve their countries' relationship as this year marked the fortieth anniversary of the normalization of bilateral diplomatic relations.

At the meeting, Duterte, who hosts this year's ASEAN meetings, assured Abe of his support in Japan's position as it was a "matter of interest" for both countries. "I totally feel the same way", Abe told reporters.

"We have said it several times already in the past that it is not [in] the interest of North Korea to swagger around and threaten the world, of keeping us hostage with the atomic weapons", the Philippine president added. "With the North Korea situation at an important phase, the role China ought to play is very big", Abe said.

The leaders are also expected to unite in condemning North Korea's nuclear and ballistic missile tests. "The Philippines is about too far but, you know, nobody will save us from a holocaust if it happens", Duterte stressed.

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Duterte said that North Korean leader Kim Jong Un should realize that he would be responsible if nuclear activities in his country would cause the world's destruction.

While its shows of power have been met with heavy economic sanctions from the United Nations, it remains defiant and has on several occasions threatened to fire missiles over the US territory of Guam.

Addressing South Korea's National Assembly last Wednesday Mr Trump insisted that the USA would "not be intimidated" by the dictator's rhetoric and called for other countries to respond to the "twisted regime's" threats with a sign of military force.

Their meeting came on the heels of talks between Abe and Chinese President Xi Jinping on the sidelines of the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation forum in Vietnam on Saturday, where the leaders agreed to make a "new start" in bilateral ties that have often been strained by territorial and historical grievances.

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