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Japan voices clear support for Venezuela opposition leader Guaido

Japan expressed support Tuesday for Venezuelan opposition leader Juan Guaido, joining the United States and other nations that have already endorsed him as president amid a power struggle in the South American country.
The decision was made as the Venezuelan government, led by President Nicolas Maduro, has failed to address international concern about the legitimacy of the presidential election in May last year.
"We express our clear support for interim President Guaido," Foreign Minister Taro Kono told a press conference. "Japan hopes a free and fair election will be held swiftly," he said.
Even after the United States and many European Union nations endorsed Guaido, Japan did not publicly take sides on Venezuela's power struggle.
Maduro was sworn in on Jan. 10 following his victory in the presidential election that saw a low turnout and allegations of irregularities. Guaido, the president of the National Assembly, then declared himself Venezuela's acting president.
Kono said the Japanese government will continue to provide necessary support to the people of Venezuela and neighboring countries affected by the recent turmoil.


© KYODO
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