Jiji Press TOKYO (Jiji Press) — Prime Minister Shinzo Abe left Tokyo on Thursday on a weeklong trip to the United States, Peru and Argentina, during which he will hold talks with U.S. President-elect Donald Trump for the first time.
At the meeting with Trump in New York on Thursday evening, Abe hopes to share the recognition of the importance of the Trans-Pacific Partnership free trade agreement and to build personal relationships of trust before the change of administration in the United States in January.
“I’m honored to have talks with Mr. Trump ahead of other world leaders,” Abe told reporters at Tokyo International Airport before his departure.
“The [Japan-U.S.] alliance comes alive only when there is trust,” he said. “I want to work with him hand in hand for world prosperity and peace.”
The Abe-Trump meeting is expected to be held at Trump Tower, a Manhattan landmark owned by the celebrity businessman.
After arriving in New York, Abe will first meet with Katsuyuki Kawai, special adviser to the prime minister, who went to the United States ahead of Abe, to get briefed on the information he collected through meetings with officials of Trump’s transition team.
Aide reassures commitment
WASHINGTON (Jiji Press) — Trump’s decision to hold talks with Abe at an early stage indicates Trump’s commitment to the Japan-U.S. relationship, an executive of the presidential transition team said Wednesday.
“The president-elect is very very busy trying to put together his cabinet,” Rep. Devin Nunes, R-Calif., chairman of the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence, told reporters after his meeting with Katsuyuki Kawai, a special adviser to Abe.