Japan PM Abe's support rate falls to 39 percent amid scandal doubts

What a US–North Korean Summit Means for Japan

But Japan's Kyodo and Jiji Press agencies both reported the possibility was being studied after Tokyo found itself on the back foot with the surprise announcement last week that US President Donald Trump would meet with Kim later this year. Japan has warned that "talks for the sake of talks" would be unacceptable.

"What is important is that the three countries, Japan, the US and South Korea, continue to closely coordinate policies", he said at a regular briefing.

Japan's Prime Minister Shinzo Abe speaks at a news conference a day before Japan remembers the victims of the March 11, 2011 triple disaster at his official residence in Tokyo, Japan, March 10, 2016.

Japan seemed to have early reservations about talks with North Korea.

But Abe rose to political prominence on his calls for a tough line on North Korea, and attitudes only hardened after two missiles fired by Pyongyang flew over Japan previous year. He also said North Korea had to show its willingness to disarm.

Japanese Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga told reporters, "Japan will consider what actions we should take from the standpoint of what is most effective to seek a comprehensive solution to the nuclear and missile issues".

Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe's support tumbled in one nationwide survey, in a sign that new revelations in a long-simmering scandal could threaten his government.

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Abe has made the abductions a keystone of his political career and has said he would not rest until all 13 of the people North Korea admitted to kidnapping have returned and the isolated state divulges information about the others Japan suspects were taken to train North Korean spies.

But the prospect of a Trump-Kim summit, as well as talks between North and South Korea, appears to have pushed Tokyo to reassess its position, analysts said. If Kim wants to terrorize a USA ally without triggering a doomsday confrontation with South Korea, matters of geography and uncomfortable history suggest Japan will be his likely target.

A police spokesman declined to comment.

Similarly, on Monday, the Blue House cited Japanese Foreign Minister Kono as saying the progress with North Korea was a "miracle".

Suh was due back in Seoul on Tuesday, while South Korea's National Security Office chief, Chung Eui-yong, who led the delegation to Pyongyang, is holding talks in Russian Federation following talks with Chinese leader Xi Jinping in Beijing on Monday. Xi told Chung the peninsula was "facing an important opportunity of mitigation and dialogue", according to Chinese state broadcaster CCTV.

Tokyo has supported maximum pressure on North Korea, but Trump's abrupt decision to meet Kim has sown some confusion.

A Japanese lawmaker more explicitly stated that North and South Korea should hold their summit first, and the proposed Trump-Kim meeting should occur afterward before Japan considers arranging a summit meeting with North Korea. Tokyo seeks a leadership role in the evolving Pacific alliance against China, so it can hardly afford to be seen as a spectator as Washington, Seoul, and Pyongyang work on a resolution to the nuclear weapons crisis.

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