Blinken and his new Japanese counterpart share concerns about North Korea, climate change

President Joe Biden spoke with the new Japanese prime minister earlier this week
(Photo by ALEX EDELMAN/POOL/AFP via Getty Images)

Secretary of State Antony Blinken had a call with his new Japanese counterpart on Wednesday, during which both men "shared concerns" about North Korea, according to a statement from a State Department spokesperson.

Motegi Toshimitsu, Japan's foreign minister, and Blinken agreed that the U.S.-Japanese relationship remains the "cornerstone of peace, security, and prosperity in the Indo-Pacific and beyond," according to the statement.

State Department spokesperson Ned Price added: "Additionally, the secretary and the foreign minister shared their concerns about the DPRK’s (North Korea) nuclear and ballistic missile programs."

The two diplomats said that they would continue working to resolve regional challenge through the U.S.-Japan-Republic of Korea trilateral cooperation agreement, which aims to completely denuclearize the Korean Peninsula. 

North Korea has been notably and visibly testing missiles since last month, firing two from the peninsula into the Sea of Japan – a move immediately met by harsh criticism from Japan. 

Price also noted that Blinken and Motegi discussed climate change, a subject matter that it was noted President Joe Biden discussed with Japan President Xi Jinping as well. 

Earlier this week, Biden spoke with Japan's new prime minister, Kishida Fumio, congratulating him on his election and saying he "looks forward to strengthening the relationship in the years ahead given the critical role our countries play in advancing our common vision of a free and open Indo-Pacific region."