Japan and the United States are arranging for their leaders to meet successively within only a week around a landmark U.S.-North Korean summit next month, Japanese government sources said Sunday.
The plan is for Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and U.S. President Donald Trump to meet before and after Trump's summit with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un on June 12 in Singapore, the sources said.
The two leaders will first meet on the fringes of the summit of Group of Seven industrialized nations in Canada on June 8 and 9. After meeting Kim, Trump may drop by Japan on his way home to brief Abe on the outcome of the summit, the sources said.
Tokyo will be coordinating with Washington over Trump's potential trip to Japan, one of the sources said, adding the schedule has not yet been fixed.
On both occasions — in Canada and in Japan — the leaders aim to reaffirm bilateral cooperation over the complete denuclearization of North Korea, in a show of unity between their nations.
Keen to help make the U.S.-North Korea summit a success, Japan, for its part, will dispatch a liaison team to Singapore to collect information about the summit. If Trump does not visit Japan afterward, the team hopes to be briefed instead about the summit, the sources said.
In Canada, Abe is expected to ask Trump to push Kim to address the long-standing issue of North Korean agents' abductions of Japanese nationals in the 1970s and 1980s. The past abductions are a priority issue for Abe.
The G-7 groups Britain, Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan and the United States.
Abe also hopes to reaffirm the need to press Pyongyang to abandon its weapons of mass destruction, including nuclear weapons, and missiles of all ranges, in a complete, verifiable and irreversible way, the sources said.
Recent weeks have seen a flurry of diplomatic activity since the historic April 27 inter-Korean summit, when Kim and South Korean President Moon Jae In agreed to pursue complete denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula.