Abe departs for USA to hold summit with Trump

Casey Dawson
April 17, 2018

The Japanese prime minister will plead with Mr Trump at a summit in Florida not to abandon Japan in his haste to strike a deal with North Korea.

During the talks, Abe will want to make sure Trump doesn't cut a deal with North Korea that leaves Japan exposed to shorter-range missiles that do not necessarily threaten the U.S. He also is expected to ask the U.S. leader to raise with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un the issue of Japanese abducted by North Korea in the 1970s and 1980s. He also is expected to ask the USA leader to raise with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un the issue of Japanese abducted by North Korea.

White House Press Secretary Sarah Sanders also spoke about the Japan-US summit.

The prime minister earlier said that he will also request Trump to seek the elimination of not only North Korea's intercontinental ballistic missiles capable of hitting the US mainland, but its short- and medium-range missiles that could threaten Japan and South Korea.

Japan's Prime Minister Shinzo Abe was eyeing a third term in office.

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"Not allowing North Korea to threaten the USA just means that we remain committed to achieving the complete, verifiable, and irreversible denuclearization of the Korean peninsula", a White House official said. Trump pulled the USA out of TPP shortly after his inauguration in early 2017.

Koizumi, who was Prime Minister from 2001-06, told Aera magazine published on Monday that Abe has found himself in a "dangerous" situation over the scandals. Abe's expected to push Trump to keep a hard-line stance on Pyongyang during those talks. He will likely seek to get Trump to reverse his decision not to exclude Japan from new steel and aluminum tariffs, while resisting the USA leader's attempts to pull Japan into bilateral trade negotiations.

Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga said Abe and Trump will play golf as they did on the sidelines of the previous summits in Florida and Japan past year to "further bolster the two leaders' relationship of trust".

Tokyo fears the USA leader will try to link vital security matters with touchy trade topics.

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