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Abe, Trump Reaffirm Plan to Maximize Pressure on DPRK

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Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and U.S. President Donald Trump shake hands after a joint press conference held in Tokyo on Monday. Pool photo/The Yomiuri Shimbun

Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and U.S. President Donald Trump reaffirmed that Japan and the United States would take the initiative to exert maximum pressure on North Korea, at a bilateral meeting held Monday at the State Guest House in Tokyo’s Motoakasaka district.

On the economic front, Trump expressed strong dissatisfaction over trade with Japan at a meeting with Japanese and U.S. business leaders held ahead of the bilateral talks, saying, “Right now our trade with Japan is not fair and open.”

Attention is focused on what approach the United States plans to take on reducing the nation’s trade deficit with Japan, as a gulf remains between the two nations on economic matters.

At the meeting with business leaders held at the official residence of U.S. Ambassador William Hagerty in Tokyo, Trump expressed his willingness to enter negotiations on a free trade agreement with Japan. Trump said the United States and Japan are capable of quickly reaching a fair agreement, and that he is optimistic.

In October’s Japan-U.S. economic dialogue held between Deputy Prime Minister and Finance Minister Taro Aso and U.S. Vice President Mike Pence, the United States expressed enthusiasm about starting FTA negotiations. Trump was thought to have mentioned the FTA during Monday’s bilateral meeting, which Aso also attended.

About 40 business leaders, including Mitsubishi Chemical Holdings Corp. Chairman Yoshimitsu Kobayashi and Masayoshi Son, chairman and president of SoftBank Group Corp., attended the meeting at Hagerty’s official residence.

At the opening of a working lunch that started shortly after noon at the State Guest House, Abe said to Trump: “Let’s have frank discussions on various global issues, particularly North Korea.”

Trump replied that he is willing to discuss issues regarding trade, North Korea and military affairs.

During the summit meeting held later, Abe told Trump about Japan’s policy of expanding the scope of asset freezing as part of Japan’s own sanctions against North Korea, in an effort to take actions … (read more)

via The Japan News

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