The Yomiuri ShimbunPrime Minister Shinzo Abe agreed with U.S. Republican President-elect Donald Trump during a telephone conversation on Thursday that they will aim to meet in New York on Nov. 17.
Trump spoke with key figures at home and abroad over the phone after winning the U.S. presidential election. He was to meet President Barack Obama on Thursday to discuss a transition of power in preparation for his presidential term.
Abe talked to Trump over the phone for about 20 minutes on Thursday morning, according to a Japanese government official. The prime minister congratulated Trump on his presidential win, saying, “I’m sure the United States will become a greater country under the extraordinary leadership of incoming President Trump.”
Trump praised the achievements of Abe’s economic measures and said he is looking forward to working with Abe for the next few years.
Trump also said Japan and the United States have an outstanding partnership and that he wants to strengthen this special relationship further.
Abe proposed an early meeting, saying, “Peace and stability in the Asia-Pacific region, which is the center of global economic growth, is a source of U.S. strength. The strong Japan-U.S. alliance is indispensable to supporting peace and stability in the region.”
Trump accepted the offer and expressed his desire for forward-looking discussions between Japan and the United States.
They did not refer to issues such as the Trans-Pacific Partnership free trade deal, which Trump opposes, and an increased burden on Japan to cover the costs for stationing U.S. forces.
The Japan side sought the telephone talks. Some observers say the existing channels the Japanese government has built with the U.S. Republican Party will not work because Trump has no public service experience. In light of this, the Abe administration apparently found it necessary for the prime minister to stress the importance of the Japan-U.S. alliance via telephone shortly after the presidential election.
The Japanese government is arranging a visit by Abe to New York ahead of the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation summit in Peru, which is scheduled to start on Nov. 19.
Work kicks off to take office
By Koya Ozeki / Yomiuri Shimbun Correspondent
WASHINGTON — Trump discussed a transition of power with his team and held a series of telephone talks with foreign leaders at Trump Tower, his New York residence, on Wednesday.
According to the Trump side, he met with Vice President-elect and Indiana Gov. Mike Pence and Reince Priebus, chairman of the Republican National Committee, to discuss a new administration.
In addition to Prime Minister Abe, Trump spoke with Mexican President Enrique Pena Nieto, South Korean President Park Geun-hye, Egyptian President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull.