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Abe, Trudeau to seek rule of law in resolving dispute over Huawei

Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau take part in a bilateral meeting on Parliament Hill in Ottawa, on April 28, 2019. (Patrick Doyle/The Canadian Press via AP)

OTTAWA (Kyodo) -- Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe agreed Sunday with Canadian counterpart Justin Trudeau to seek the rule of law in resolving international issues, including China's arrest of two Canadian citizens.

Beijing has detained the pair since December on allegations of harming national security.

Their detention followed Canada's arrest of Meng Wanzhou -- chief financial officer of Huawei Technologies Co. -- at the request of the United States, which has accused her of helping the company evade U.S. sanctions on Iran.

During a meeting in the Canadian capital, Trudeau voiced his concern to Abe. The two agreed to request China play a constructive role in the international community, Japanese officials said.

Abe visited Ottawa before Japan hosts a Group of 20 summit in Osaka, in June, at which Trudeau is likely to join other leaders -- including Chinese President Xi Jinping -- to discuss issues ranging from free trade for economic growth, to empowering women and tackling marine plastic debris.

Huawei, a leader in next-generation 5G mobile communications networks, this year filed a lawsuit with a federal district court in Texas, against the U.S. government.

The arrest of Meng, daughter of Huawei founder Ren Zhengfei, came as Washington was pressing allies, including Japan, to exclude the company from government contracts due to fears its products may facilitate spying and disrupt communication networks.

On global trade, Abe told a press conference after the meeting, "It is essential to reform (the World Trade Organization) to ensure it works to settle disputes."

On Friday, Japan denounced a recent WTO ruling that supported a South Korean ban on imports of some Japanese fishery products in the wake of the 2011 Fukushima nuclear disaster. Tokyo said the ruling was not based on scientific evidence.

Other WTO members, Abe said, have also raised questions about the ruling.

Abe and Trudeau also agreed to maintain U.N. sanctions against North Korea to achieve Pyongyang's denuclearization, said the Japanese officials.

Trudeau expressed his support for Abe's efforts to address the issue of Japanese citizens abducted by North Korea in the 1970s and 1980s.

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