Tags: james mattis | japan | north korea | abductions

Mattis Expresses Solidarity with Japan over Citizens Abducted by North Korea

Mattis Expresses Solidarity with Japan over Citizens Abducted by North Korea
(AP)

Thursday, 28 June 2018 09:17 PM

Defense Secretary Jim Mattis offered solidarity with Japan on Friday over Japanese abductees being held in North Korea as he sat down for talks in Tokyo focusing on negotiations to denuclearise Pyongyang.

Mattis, who is on the last stop of a trip to Asia that also included stops in China and South Korea, noted that Japanese Defense Minister Itsunori Onodera was wearing a lapel pin worn in remembrance of the Japanese abducted by North Korea to train its spies.

"I note with respect the blue lapel pin you wear, and we’re with you," Mattis said, as he sat down with Onodera for talks at the defense ministry in Tokyo.

Japan has been pressing the United States to make the issue of the abductees a priority in its talks with North Korea. U.S. Ambassador William Hagerty hosted family members of Japanese abductees at his residence in Tokyo in April and regularly wears the pin.

Japan, which may seek direct talks with North Korea to discuss the return of any remaining abductees kidnapped during the 1970s and 1980s, has said it will not provide any economic aid to Pyongyang until the issue is resolved and normal diplomatic relations have been established.

Onodera said he and Mattis would be discussing North Korea.

© 2019 Thomson/Reuters. All rights reserved.

   
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Defense Secretary Jim Mattis offered solidarity with Japan on Friday over Japanese abductees being held in North Korea as he sat down for talks in Tokyo focusing on negotiations to denuclearise Pyongyang. Mattis, who is on the last stop of a trip to Asia that also included...
james mattis, japan, north korea, abductions
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2018-17-28
Thursday, 28 June 2018 09:17 PM
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