Trade and security are separate issues that Japan and the US do not mix up: Kono

The Straits Times speaks to Japan's Foreign Minister Taro Kono on Asean, North Korea, and the Free and Open Indo-Pacific Strategy, in an exclusive interview.
Newly manufactured vehicles await export at a port in Yokohama, Japan, on Jan 16, 2017.
Newly manufactured vehicles await export at a port in Yokohama, Japan, on Jan 16, 2017. PHOTO: REUTERS

TOKYO - Trade and security are separate issues that longstanding allies Japan and the United States know not to conflate, Japanese Foreign Minister Taro Kono has said.

"These are two different issues and I don't think anybody is mixing them up - be it in Tokyo or in Washington DC," he told The Straits Times on Thursday (July 26) ahead of a visit to Singapore for meetings with his counterparts from Asean and its regional partners, seeking to douse concerns that bilateral trade issues might have an adverse bearing on the Japan-US strategic security alliance. "We are not worried about that at all."

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