Japanese prime minister voices support for U.S. military strikes on Syria

TOKYO (Reuters) - Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe voiced support on Friday for U.S. military strikes against Syria after it launched deadly chemical weapons on a rebel-held area earlier this week.

“Many innocent people became victims from the chemical attacks. The international community was shocked by the tragedy that left many young children among the victims,” Abe told reporters.

“Japan supports the U.S. government’s determination to prevent the spread and use of chemical weapons,” he said.

In an escalation of the U.S. military role in Syria, two American warships fired dozens of cruise missiles from the eastern Mediterranean Sea at an airbase controlled by President Bashar al-Assad’s forces that the Pentagon says was used to store chemical weapons.

Reporting by Kaori Kaneko, writing by Malcolm Foster