Japan Criticizes Venezuela's Maduro Administration


Tokyo, Feb. 5 (Jiji Press)--Japanese Foreign Minister Taro Kono on Tuesday criticized Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro for the South American country's turmoil, calling for free and fair presidential elections at an early date.

Tokyo effectively showed its support for opposition leader Juan Guaido, president of Venezuela's national assembly, who has declared himself interim president until new presidential elections are held. He is supported by the United States.

In a statement, Kono raised doubts over the legitimacy of the present Venezuelan administration, hinting at taking a step in line with the United States, which is increasing its pressure on Maduro to step down.

Referring to the presidential elections in which Maduro was reelected in May last year after removing major contenders, Kono said, "Japan has repeatedly urged the Venezuelan government to fulfill its accountability for the doubt of the international community about the legitimacy of the elections."

"Japan deplores that the Venezuelan government nevertheless has not duly responded to such requests while the Venezuelan political, economic and social situations have been undermined," he continued.

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