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Kishida confirms cooperation with US on N.Korea

Japan's Foreign Minister has confirmed with his US counterpart that the 2 countries will work together with South Korea to deal with North Korean issues.

Fumio Kishida spoke with US Secretary of State John Kerry by telephone.

Kishida explained to Kerry the Japanese government's recent lifting of some sanctions on North Korea. The suspension was in exchange for the North setting up a special panel to investigate missing Japanese, including those abducted by the North's agents.

He said Japan maintains its firm stance on North Korean issues, including its nuclear and missile programs.

Kishida also briefed Kerry on the Cabinet's decision to reinterpret the Constitution to enable Japan to exercise the right to collective self-defense.

He explained the government's efforts to review the bilateral defense cooperation guidelines. The 2 countries plan to complete the review by the end of the year.

Kerry expressed support for Japan's move.

Jul. 7, 2014 - Updated 22:40 UTC