Abe calls on Trump to ease trade row with China
BUENOS AIRES — Prime Minister Shinzo Abe called on U.S. President Donald Trump and Chinese President Xi Jinping to ease the two countries’ disputes over the bilateral trade row, Japanese officials said.
The prime minister held talks with the U.S. and Chinese leaders separately in Buenos Aires on Friday on the sidelines of summit talks of the Group of 20 economies.
Abe also held a trilateral summit meeting with Trump and Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi for the first such trilateral summit talks. The Abe-Trump meeting lasted for about 35 minutes, and Deputy Prime Minister Taro Aso; Economy, Trade and Industry Minister Hiroshige Seko; U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and national security adviser John Bolton were among those who joined the meeting.
During the meeting, Abe explained about his October Chinese visit to Trump. Then, with exchanges of retaliatory tariffs between the United States and China in mind, the prime minister called on the U.S. president for calm responses, according to the officials.
“Japan believes exchanges of trade restrictive measures will not benefit any countries,” Abe was quoted as saying. Abe also urged Trump to solve disputes through the World Trade Organization.
The two leaders also agreed to work closely together to urge China to play “a constructive role.” On the outset of the meeting, Trump emphasized, “We do have a [trade] deficit that is pretty substantial with Japan. We hope that we’re going to be balancing it very quickly.”
With this remark, the U.S. president apparently sought concrete results from the negotiations for a proposed bilateral trade agreement on goods (TAG) slated to start as early as January next year.
Over Japan’s plan to purchase state-of-the-art F-35 stealth fighters from the United States, Trump said, “We appreciate it very much.”
The U.S. president unveiled that he has been invited to an Imperial event in Japan. “I was very honored to be invited [by] your Emperor,” he said.
Trump likely had in mind Sokuirei Seiden no Gi ceremony scheduled for October next year, where the new Emperor will proclaim his enthronement.
Abe and Trump also agreed that complete implementations of U.S. Security Council resolutions for sanctions against North Korea are indispensable for denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula.
The two leaders confirmed the two countries will cooperate with each other on the abduction issue of Japanese nationals by North Korea.
During the meeting between Abe, Trump and Modi, the three leaders agreed to enhance cooperation in such fields as the maritime security toward realizing “a free and open Indo-Pacific,” which Japan and the United States campaign.
In this agreement, the three leaders apparently had China’s maritime advance, among other elements, in mind.
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