Japan to work closely with US on Syria issue

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Japan's Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga said Wednesday that Japan will work closely with the United States and other countries to help improve the situation in Syria, but urged that the facts should first be carefully verified.

The top government spokesperson told a press conference that Japan has been made aware that the United States and other countries concerned could be moving toward taking military action against Syria, following allegations of Syria's chemical weapon attack.

"We are concerned about the deteriorating situation in Syria and will closely cooperate with the United States and other countries in our efforts to improve the situation," Suga said.

"We want all the facts to be revealed as soon as possible," he continued, although declined to mention reports that the U.S. Navy is maneuvering its warships for a potential missile strike on Syria.

Suga stated that Japan stands staunchly opposed to the use of chemical weapons and said that there were no circumstances that could ever necessitate the use of such weapons.

He added that Japan hopes that the United Nations' inspections in Syria will be completed swiftly and without any interference from the Syrian government forces and that the facts can be ascertained and verified at the earliest possible opportunity.

The current crisis follows last Wednesday's suspected chemical attack near the Syrian capital, Damascus, which reportedly killed more than 300 people, although the Syrian government denies responsibility for the attacks.

Syrian Foreign Minister Walid al-Moallem said that he rejects " utterly and completely" claims that Syrian forces used chemical weapons, and that his government has blamed rebel fighters, sources familiar with the matter reported here Wednesday.

They added however, the United States, Britain and France were looking to form as wider an allied coalition as possible for a limited strike on Syria.

The sources here said that international military intervention was "imminent," despite numerous countries protesting the strike, claiming it would be disastrous for the region. Endi

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