U.S., Japan agree that response is needed in Syria

The U.S. and Japan are in agreement that a response is needed to the use of chemical weapons in Syria, the White House said on Sunday.

Ben Rhodes, the deputy national security adviser for strategic communication for the White House, made the remarks on Sunday during a press briefing. Rhodes did a readout of a meeting between U.S. President Barack Obama and Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and then took several questions. He said the U.S. and Japan were in agreement on the subject of Syria.

"The President and the Prime Minister began with a discussion of the situation in Syria, building on the conversation they had over the phone earlier in the week," Rhodes said. "I think the two leaders are in agreement that the use of chemical weapons is unacceptable and demands a strong international response. They agreed to stay in close coordination on the issue as we move forward."

When asked if the President asked Prime Minister Abe for anything related to Syria, Rhodes said the U.S. would like to see other countries come forward to take the U.S. position that the use of chemical weapons is unacceptable. The two leaders also discussed Japan's continued support on the political and humanitarian side in Syria.

In regards to North Korea, President Obama emphasized the importance of cooperation between the U.S., Japan and South Korea.

"On North Korea, the two leaders underscored their commitment to work together towards the denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula," Rhodes said. "The President noted the importance of close trilateral cooperation between the United States and Korea and Japan, as well as continued efforts with other members of the six parties, including China and Russia, and the broader international community."