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Kishida hopes to work with new U.S. ambassador over North Korea abductions

Prime Minister Fumio Kishida on Monday expressed his wish to work with new U.S. Ambassador to Japan Rahm Emanuel to resolve the issue of North Korea’s abductions of Japanese nationals decades ago.

“It is also important to work closely with the new U.S. ambassador” over the issue, Kishida told a meeting of the budget committee of the House of Councilors.

Emanuel has earned U.S. President Joe Biden’s deep trust, Kishida said. Emanuel’s appointment was confirmed by the U.S. Senate on Saturday.

“I will devote myself to tackling challenges (related to the abduction issue) without missing any opportunities,” Kishida said.

Also at the meeting, Kishida said he has yet to decide whether to attend a review conference on the Treaty on the Nonproliferation of Nuclear Weapons, or NPT, next January.

On his envisaged first visit to the United States since taking office in October, Kishida said that the trip is being arranged with various factors taken into account, including U.S. domestic affairs and novel coronavirus situations.

“I want to realize a Japan-U.S. summit as soon as possible,” he said.

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