JUST IN: Trump and Japanese Talk Diplomacy
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President Trump and Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe have no lack of things to talk about. A number of questions raised by Trump — from the U.S.-Japan security agreement to monetary policy — still linger between two countries that have been longtime allies.
As Reported by NPR:
So, both leaders have split their meeting this week into installments — first, a conversation and working lunch at the White House on Friday, then one on the links this weekend at Trump’s Mar-a-Lago resort in Palm Beach, Fla.
But in between, Trump and Abe are taking an intermission Friday afternoon to hold a joint news conference, together with Vice President Mike Pence.
During those talks, Trump is expected to try to reassure Abe of U.S. commitment to Japan’s security, as NPR’s Scott Horsley reports. That commitment was called into question by Trump himself during his campaign.
“We defend Japan. We defend Germany. We defend South Korea. We defend Saudi Arabia. We defend countries,” Trump said last September. “They do not pay us what they should be paying us because we are providing a tremendous service and we’re losing a fortune.”
Still, he struck a different tone during a phone conversation with the Japanese leader last month, affirming “the ironclad U.S. commitment to ensuring the security of Japan,” according to the White House.
As NPR’s Elise Hu notes, U.S. Defense Secretary James Mattis also took a friendlier tack in his visit to the country last week when he said that “Japan has been a model of cost-sharing, of burden-sharing.”Trade policy, another area where Trump has expressed disapproval, is also expected to be on the agenda. He has accused the country of manipulating its currency, the yen — an allegation Japan denies.
“Abe said ahead of his Washington trip that he would explain Japan’s monetary policy in this week’s talks,” Elise reported, adding:
“To get the security Japan wants, Abe will present a package of ideas for investing as much as $150 billion into U.S. infrastructure, including high-speed rail projects. President Trump made improving infrastructure a key campaign pledge.”
Abe’s visit is Trump’s second in-person meeting with a foreign leader, after a visit from British Prime Minister Theresa May.
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