Leaders of Japan, France share Middle East concerns

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Leaders of Japan, France share Middle East concerns
French President Emmanuel Macron, left, shakes hands with Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe after their joint press conference at Abe's official residence in Tokyo, Wednesday, June 26, 2019. (AP Photo/Koji Sasahara, pool)

TOKYO (AP) — French President Emmanuel Macron says he and Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe have agreed to bolster naval defense ties in the Indo-Pacific region, as the two leaders also raised concerns about tensions in the Middle East.

Macron, in Tokyo ahead of this week’s Group of 20 summit in Osaka, told a joint news conference Wednesday that he hoped the U.S.-China trade dispute will ease during the summit.

Macron said he and Abe agreed on the need to ensure the verifiable, irreversible denuclearization of both Iran and North Korea.

Abe said protecting the safety of the Strait of Hormuz is crucial.

The two countries signed cooperation plans focusing on defense, economy and other global issues.