Japan Defence Minister Itsunori Onodera emphasized that “the drills and the US military stationed in South Korea play a vital role in East Asia’s security.” And he hoped to “share this recognition between Japan and the US, or among Japan, US and South Korea.”

Onodera also said there is no change in Japan’s policy after the Kim-Trump summit, of “putting pressure” on North Korea. And, Japan would stick to plans to bolster its defences against a possible ballistic missile strike from North Korea.

Separately, Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga said that Japan could shoulder some of the costs of North Korea’s denuclearization, on the condition that International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) restarts inspections.

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