Don't forget Japan in North Korea deal, Abe tells Trump

Katrina Barker
April 17, 2018

On Tuesday, Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe will call on President Trump at his Florida resort for two days of meetings and meals.

Japan also made requests of China regarding steel overproduction, Kono said, However, he denied an earlier report from Kyodo News that China had asked for Japan's help on US steel tariffs, which have been imposed on both Japan and China. After renegotiating a free trade deal with South Korea, the Trump administration said South Korean exporters would be largely exempt from the new steel and aluminum tariffs.

But Trump, who is also facing controversy at home as investigators examine his 2016 campaign and more, may not want to yield any ground to the Japanese leader. Washington and Tokyo have yet to find a way forward on their trade relationship, as President Trump and his advisors continue to focus in on the bilateral trade deficit. He will ask Trump to take up the issue when the US president meets with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un to discuss denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula.

Both are embroiled in controversies surrounding dodgy financial deals but, while Trump's poll numbers are holding up, Abe's have plummeted to record lows.

The Asahi Shimbun reported Monday the US agent exchanged views with Tokyo's intelligence service under the Cabinet Office.

"Japan is the only neighboring country that is not part of the diplomatic efforts for dialogue with North Korea", the liberal newspaper Asahi said. "Now is the time for Japan to go along with that trend". Trump pulled the USA out of TPP shortly after his inauguration in early 2017.

Equally important, Japan stressed that cooperation with China over the ambitious "One Belt, One Road" policy by political elites in Beijing is more than possible.

"We expect it to be very positive", White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders said Monday of Abe's visit.

Under pressure from Republican lawmakers and governors from farm states last week, Trump asked his top economic advisers to take another look at the TPP, which Japan and other countries revived after the USA exit.

The negotiations involved in re-entering TPP could extend beyond Trump's first term, according to the report. In the evening, the president and his wife Melania Trump will have dinner with the Japanese prime minister and his wife, Akie. Abe has denied that he or his wife intervened in the sale. There are also other foreign policy priorities for Washington. Abe will be seeking reassurance from Trump that security threats to Japan won't be overlooked in the U.S.

Then, a second allegation of favoritism resurfaced, in which a friend of Abe got permission to establish a new veterinary school in western Japan. Worsening U.S. relations with Moscow also limit Abe's ability to negotiate a peace treaty with Russian leader Vladimir Putin-a project that has stalled as Russia's relations with Europe and the United States have worsened. Despite comfortably winning a new mandate in parliamentary elections past year, Abe's grip on power is slipping as he faces a pair of spiraling domestic scandals involving allegations that he helped friends at two educational institutions get special treatment from the government. Both will want to spend time away from cameras, trying to resolve their differences and putting a strong statesman-like face on as they struggle through this increasingly fraught era.

Other reports by AllAboutTopnews

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