Trump, Abe pledge to strengthen defence and strategic ties between US and Japan

US President Donald Trump and Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe have vowed to strengthen defence and strategic ties and agreed to make the bilateral trade more fair.

“We are committed to the security of Japan and all areas under its administrative control and to further strengthening our very crucial alliance. The US—Japan alliance is the cornerstone of peace and stability in the Pacific region,” Mr. Trump told reporters at a joint news conference with Mr. Abe at the White House on Friday.

After the meeting, Mr. Trump insisted that it is important that both Japan and the US continue to invest heavily in the alliance to build up their defence capabilities which, under their leadership, will become stronger and stronger, and as time goes by, ultimately they will be impenetrable.

Mr. Trump said the two countries face numerous challenges and bilateral cooperation is essential to address them.

“We will work together to promote our shared interests, of which we have many, in the region, including freedom of navigation and defending against the North Korean missile and nuclear threat, both of which I consider a very, very high priority,” Mr. Trump said.

“On the economy, we will seek a trading relationship that is free, fair and reciprocal, benefiting both of our countries. The vibrant exchange between us is a true blessing,” Mr. Trump said.

Mr. Abe, speaking in Japanese, congratulated Mr. Trump on being elected as the US President. Mr. Abe was one of the first world leader who travelled to the US to congratulate Mr. Trump ahead of his swearing-in in January.

“The mutually beneficial economic relations have been built by Japan and the US,” he said.

With Mr. Trump taking on the leadership, Mr. Abe said big infrastructure investments will be made, including in high-speed train technology.

“Japanese bullet trains are known for their speed, and safety,” Mr. Abe said, adding, with the latest magnetic technology, it would take only one hour to travel from from Washington, DC to New York where Trump Tower exists.

Japan, with its high-level of technical capability will be able to contribute to Mr. Trump’s growth strategy, he said.

The two leaders in a joint-statement announced a three-pronged approach of mutually-reinforcing fiscal, monetary, and structural policies to strengthen domestic and global economic demand.

Mr. Trump and Mr. Abe discussed opportunities and challenges facing their economies and the need to promote inclusive growth and prosperity in their countries, the Asia—Pacific region, and the world.

“They emphasised they remain fully committed to strengthening the economic relationships between their two countries and across the region, based on rules for free and fair trade,” the joint statement said.

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