Bilateral talks between Japan and US have included security issues, highlighting North Korea’s provocations.

Japanese Foreign Minister Koichiro Gemba and US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton agreed on “stern” measures against North Korea, which is speculated to launch a third nuclear test.

Gemba and Clinton further discussed issues on the Korean Peninsula, urging China to influence its ally against its nuclear programme. The US promised to work closely with Japan’s defense forces and reaffirmed the policy of realignment of US forces in Japan.

The two nations also discussed cooperation on Afghanistan to assist the country with its transition to local governance. Japan committed to cutting oil imports from Iran due to its suspected development of nuclear weapons after a US court ordered a Japanese bank to freeze Iranian assets. Japan also asked the EU for cooperation on Afghanistan in a separate meeting. The bilateral talks took place on the sidelines of the NATO summit in Chicago.