Japanese PM Abe looks to win Trump's trust in White House talks
Feb.10, Washington: US President Donald Trump's meeting with Japan's prime minister Shinzo Abe offers a chance to shore up a long-standing security alliance and repair economic ties shaken by U.S. withdrawal from a Pacific trade pact.
Prime Minister Abe, who is expected to propose more Japanese investment in the U.S., has wasted no time in trying to win Trump's trust. He was the only world leader to meet the Republican before inauguration, and will be the second to do so since the new president took office, media reports said.
Trump and Abe will hold talks in the Oval Office on Friday, followed by a joint news conference and a working lunch. Trump will then host Abe and his wife at his Mar-a-Lago Club in Florida. The two leaders are scheduled to play golf on Saturday.
Other leaders of America's closest neighbors and allies, such as Mexico, Britain and Australia, have been singed by their encounters or conversations with Trump. But Japanese officials are optimistic the invitation to visit Trump's "Winter White House" signals a more positive outcome.
A senior U.S. official said that the Trump administration is upholding the U.S. position that its defense treaty with Japan applies to East China Sea islands disputed by Japan and China — a stance opposed by Beijing. The president is expected to speak on that subject, the official said.
The official spoke to reporters on condition of anonymity to discuss the planning for the trip ahead of Abe's arrival in Washington late Thursday.
The economic side of the U.S.-Japan relationship is more uncertain, The Associated Press reported.
The Oslo Times International News Network