Japanese minister to visit S'pore, says report

Japan's Foreign Minister Taro Kono delivers a joint message with his Mexican counterpart Luis Videgaray in Mexico City, Mexico, on May 24, 2018.
Japan's Foreign Minister Taro Kono delivers a joint message with his Mexican counterpart Luis Videgaray in Mexico City, Mexico, on May 24, 2018. PHOTO: REUTERS

TOKYO • Japan's Foreign Minister Taro Kono is considering visiting Singapore on June 9, days before the Republic hosts a widely anticipated summit between US President Donald Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un, a Japanese report said, citing government sources.

Preparations are being made for Mr Kono to meet Singapore Foreign Minister Vivian Balakrishnan to seek cooperation in sharing information about the June 12 summit, the sources said on Monday, according to Kyodo news agency.

The visit, if it takes place, would come as Japan appears to be sidelined in the flurry of diplomacy between the United States, North Korea and South Korea aimed at persuading Pyongyang to abandon its nuclear weapons.

Japanese Premier Shinzo Abe, who has a hawkish stance towards the North, spoke to Mr Trump by phone on Monday, and they agreed to meet before June 12. It is expected Mr Abe will ask Mr Trump to raise issues like the North's abduction of Japanese citizens and its short-range missiles during his summit with Mr Kim.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on May 30, 2018, with the headline 'Japanese minister to visit S'pore, says report'. Print Edition | Subscribe