From February 9 to 13, Prime Minister Shinzo Abe visited the United States of America. On February 10, he held a summit meeting with Donald Trump, president of the United States of America.
In his opening remarks, Prime Minister Abe welcomed President Trump’s vision of a great and strong United States. He said that the two leaders had agreed to further strengthen the bonds of the Japan-US Alliance, and had affirmed that Japan and the United States would continue to play a leading role in ensuring the peace and prosperity of the Asia-Pacific region and the world.
In their meeting, the two leaders discussed the increasingly severe security environment in the Asia-Pacific region, including the issues of North Korea’s nuclear and missile development, which constitutes a new level of threat, and unilateral attempts to change the status quo in the East China Sea and the South China Sea, and shared their concerns. Furthermore, the two leaders shared the recognition that the presence of the US Forces in Japan based on the Japan-US Security Treaty and the US-Japan Status of Forces Agreement is important, and that it is necessary to continually strengthen the Japan-US Alliance. Moreover, both leaders recognized the importance of strengthening multi-layered cooperation with allies and like-minded countries, and of building a network with allies, centered on the Japan-US Alliance. Prime Minister Abe explained Japan’s roles and efforts regarding security matters, and the two leaders shared the recognition expressed in the joint statement.
The two leaders held “candid” and “constructive” discussions on how to foster mutually beneficial relations by further elevating Japan-US economic relations in a wide range of fields and working together. Prime Minister Abe explained Japanese companies’ track record in terms of investment and job creation in the United States, as well as his own views regarding current Japan-US economic relations. The leaders shared their recognition of the importance of Japan-US economic relations. Prime Minister Abe and President Trump agreed to further deepen dialogue and cooperation in order to dramatically enhance Japan-US economic relations, and in order for Japan and the United States to lead the robust growth of the Asia-Pacific region and the world. In this regard, they decided to establish an economic dialogue led by Deputy Prime Minister and Finance Minister of Japan Taro Aso and US Vice President Michael Pence.
After the meeting, Prime Minister Abe and President Trump issued a joint statement affirming their strong determination to further strengthen the Japan-US Alliance and their economic relationship. In political and security areas, the two leaders affirmed the strong determination of Japan and the United States, under an increasingly severe security environment in the Asia-Pacific region, to further strengthen their efforts in the Japan-US Alliance, which is the cornerstone of peace, prosperity and freedom in the region. In particular, the joint statement made specific reference to a commitment to extended deterrence, affirmed that Article 5 of the Japan-US Security Treaty covers the Senkaku Islands, and that the relocation of MCAS Futenma to Henoko is the “only solution” [to resolving issues involving the Futenma base].
Regarding the economy, in addition to affirming their commitment that both Japan and the United States will strengthen their bilateral and regional economic relations based on the rules of free and fair trade, the two leaders agreed to proactively cooperate in specific areas that would be beneficial to both sides. In order to address these issues, the leaders decided to establish an economic dialogue led by Deputy Prime Minister Aso and Vice President Pence.
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