Trump to meet Abe next month, vows iron-clad support to Japan

Jan 30, 2017, 00:31

Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and U.S. President Donald Trump agreed during a telephone conversation Saturday to hold face-to-face talks on February 10 and affirmed the importance of bilateral ties, the Japanese and U.S. governments said.

According to the Japanese Prime Minister's office, Abe in the meeting next month hoped to meaningfully exchange views with Trump in the fields including bilateral economic and security ties.

The Japanese Prime Minister also said he hope Japan will play its due role as US alliance.

Abe was the first world leader to rush to meet the United States president-elect in NY, visiting Trump just nine days after Americans voted him into office in a surprise victory.

It said Trump and Abe said they would consult and cooperate on the threat posed by North Korea while they would deepen the bilateral trade and investment relationship.

Mr Trump frequently criticised the TPP on the campaign trail and hit Hillary Clinton for previously calling it "the gold standard" and his opposition to other free trade agreements like the North American Free Trade Agreement, was seen as a reason why he won support in previously Democratic strongholds like Pennsylvania, Wisconsin and MI.

Relations were strained under Trump's predecessor Barack Obama, notably over the crisis in Ukraine and Moscow's alleged interference in the November election.

Given that Trump formally announced that the United States will pull out of the Trans-Pacific Partnership free trade pact, trade policy is also expected to be one of the major agenda items.

The leaders also discussed matters related to the security situation in East Asia, as well as U.S. Defense Secretary James Mattis' trip to Japan next week, the Japanese official said.

But on Thursday, Abe said he would consider the possibility of Tokyo and Washington hammering out a trade deal alone - Trump has said he preferred bilateral trade agreements to multilateral accords.

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