Abe Avoids Iran, N. Territories Issues in Campaign Speeches


Tokyo, July 12 (Jiji Press)--Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe appears to be avoiding discussing tensions over Iran and a territorial dispute with Russia in his campaign speeches for the July 21 House of Councillors election, after he failed to achieve tangible progress on the issues in recent opportunities.

"Maintaining a relationship of trust with President (Donald) Trump is my minimum duty," Abe said in a speech in Ise, Mie Prefecture, on Friday, claiming that the Japan-U.S. alliance remains strong under him and Trump.

Abe also highlighted his chairmanship of the Group of 20 summit in the western city of Osaka late last month.

But the prime minister made no mention of Iran as well as Tokyo-Moscow negotiations to resolve their territorial dispute over four Russian-held islands called the Northern Territories in Japan.

In mid-June, Abe visited Iran, in a bid to mediate between Washington and Tehran. Tensions between the two rivals did not ease, however, and are escalating even further now.

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Jiji Press