North Korea will surely be on the agenda when Russian President Vladimir Putin (R) meets with Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe on Thursday. Photo: Reuters

A leading Japanese newspaper is calling on Prime Minister Shinzo Abe to get Vladimir Putin’s help in resolving the crisis with North Korea when he meets with the Russian president on Thursday, April 27. The editorial by the Mainichi Shimbun also questions the Japanese government’s “diplomatic skills” as tensions rise over North Korea.

A translated version of the editorial which appeared on the paper’s English-language website on Tuesday, noted the mounting military and political moves by the US, Japan and China in response to Pyongyang’s missile and nuclear tests. It also pointed out that the number of people accessing the Japanese government’s civil defense website, which gives evacuation instructions in the event of a North Korean missile attack, has been soaring.

“While preparing for a worst-case scenario, Japan should be making its best diplomatic efforts so that it does not have to put its preparations into practice,” the Mainichi editorial said in part. “Prime Minister Abe is set to visit Russia soon. Amid deteriorating relations between the US and Russia, Abe should appeal directly to Russian President Vladimir Putin to join in forming a unified front against North Korea.”