All eyes are on the United States as they wait on how they will be moving to deal with the ongoing Syrian conflict. A 30-minute phone call between US President Barack Obama and Japan Prime Minister Shinzo Abe confirmed that the two countries will be cooperating as they await the US Congress’ decision on whether or not to take action against the Middle Eastern nation for their alleged use of chemical weapons.
The phone call between the two leaders was initiated by Washington and they were in agreement that using chemical weapons, especially on civilians, can never be tolerated irregardless of the circumstances. Obama emphasized that the international community has to send a clear message about the consequences of using chemical weapons. Abe has previously stated that he will be closely watching the outcome of Obama asking permission from the US Congress to possibly take action against Syria and President Bashar al-Assad for their actions last month against the civilians living near Damascus.
Most Japanese officials are of the view that Japan should support their ally in case a strike would happen. However, Tokyo is cautious about expressing any outright support for military action, given the public sentiment among the American citizens and Britain’s decision to not join the US in any action against Syria. But Defense Minister Itsunori Onodera said, “It is evident chemical weapons have been used in Syria.” Meanwhile, Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga said that it will be “physically difficult” for Abe and Obama to have a sideline meeting during the Group of 20 conference to be held in St. Petersburg, Russia on Sept. 5 and 6.
[ via Global Post ]
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