Defense Minister Itsunori Onodera says Japan will keep a close watch as well as maintain pressure on North Korea to ensure that the country will fully abandon its nuclear and missile programs.
Onodera said on Wednesday it is significant that Pyongyang pledged its commitment to a complete denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula at the US-North Korea summit the day before.
He said it is essential that the North abandons all its weapons of mass destruction and ballistic missiles of all ranges. He said Japan will keep its eye on the North's concrete moves. He added that it is not yet clear what steps the country will take to denuclearize.
Onodera also referred to US President Donald Trump's remark that his country might consider halting joint military exercises with South Korea in the future.
He said the US forces stationed in South Korea and the 2 countries' joint military drills play an important role in maintaining security in East Asia.
He said he wants to share this view with the 2 countries.