Trump presses Japan over trade gap, expects ‘good things’ from North Korea

TOKYO (Reuters) – U.S. President Donald Trump pressed Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe on Monday to even out a trade imbalance with the United States and expressed confidence, despite Japanese wariness, that “good things” would come from North Korea.

Trump is on a four-day state visit to Japan meant to showcase the alliance between the two nations, but which has also been shadowed by trade tensions.

Trump explicitly linked trade and security, a connection that disturbs Tokyo, whose alliance with Washington stands at the core of its defense policies.

“It’s all a balance sheet thing,” he said. “When I talk about a security threat, I talk about a balance sheet.

“In order to have $716 billion dollars a year in military expenditures, you have to have a lot of money coming in,” he said, adding that Japan had bought “tremendous amounts” of U.S. military gear.

On Sunday, Trump tweeted that he expected big moves on trade would wait until after Japan’s upper house election in July.

“Trade-wise, I think we’ll be announcing some things, probably in August, that will be very good for both countries,” Trump said on Monday. “We’ll get the balance of trade, I think, straightened out rapidly.”

Abe, who has developed close personal ties with Trump since the U.S. leader came to office, stressed the closeness of ties.

“I am determined to demonstrate at home and abroad the very strong bond” he said of the alliance in Japan’s new Reiwa era, which began on May 1 when Emperor Naruhito inherited the throne.

Earlier, Trump was greeted by Naruhito and his Harvard-educated wife at the imperial palace in Tokyo in a formal welcome ceremony broadcast live on national television.

He became the first foreign dignitary to be received by the monarch since the latter inherited the throne after his father, Akihito, stepped down in the first abdication by a Japanese emperor in two centuries.

Trump gave a slight bow and he and First Lady Melania Trump shook hands with the imperial pair before entering the palace, to be met by Abe and his wife, Akie, among others.

The president and emperor and their wives returned outside to walk a red carpet and stand under a hot sun while a military band played the national anthems of both countries.

RED CARPET, POLICY DIFFERENCES

Trump then walked the red carpet again, waving at assembled school children and inspecting Japanese troops before a military band played a formal salute as he stood solemnly on a raised platform.

Trump has made clear he was pleased to have the honor of the first reception with the emperor, who is hosting a lavish state dinner for the U.S. leader and his wife on Monday.

U.S. President Donald Trump meets with Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe at Akasaka Palace, Japanese state guest house in Tokyo May 27, 2019. Eugene Hoshiko/Pool via Reuters

The two leaders have put on a show of friendship but have policy disagreements over trade and North Korea.

Trump has threatened to target Japanese automakers with high tariffs in his effort to cut the U.S. trade surplus and get a two-way trade pact with Tokyo.

Trump has also spearheaded an expensive trade dispute with China. That trade war between the world’s two largest economies has hurt markets worldwide and confounded U.S. allies, including Japan and the European Union.

Such allies share U.S. concerns about Chinese practices but object to Trump’s hardball tactics.

Abe and Trump are also set to discuss North Korea and Iran.

“I personally think that lots of good things will come with North Korea. I feel that. I may be right, I may be wrong, but I feel that,” Trump said on Monday.

On Sunday, Trump had said he was not worried about a recent missile launch by North Korea. That put him at odds with his own national security adviser, John Bolton, who said on Saturday Pyongyang’s recent short-range missile tests violated United Nations Security Council resolutions.

Japan shares Bolton’s view.

Abe is considering a trip to Iran next month, domestic media said, to try to soothe rising tension between Tehran and Washington. Trump said Abe had spoken to him on the subject.

Slideshow (19 Images)

“We’ll see what happens,” Trump said. “But I know for a fact that the prime minister is very close with the leadership of Iran, and we’ll see what happens.”

Also on Monday, Trump will meet families of Japanese citizens abducted by Pyongyang decades ago.

Additional reporting by Malcolm Foster and Elaine Lies; Writing by Jeff Mason and Linda Sieg; Editing by Paul Tait and Clarence Fernandez

Source

more recommended stories

  • OBJECTION! Ex-Trump aide Hicks tight-lipped in U.S. House interview

    WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Hope Hicks, formerly.

  • U.N. report sees credible evidence linking Saudi crown prince to Khashoggi murder

    GENEVA/RIYADH (Reuters) – Saudi Crown Prince.

  • U.S. House Speaker Pelosi cites need to impeach Trump if wrongdoing found

    U.S. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA).

  • Rocket hits site of foreign oil firms in Iraq’s Basra, three hurt

    BASRA, Iraq (Reuters) – A rocket.

  • Rocket hits site of foreign oil firms in Iraq’s Basra, two hurt

    BASRA, Iraq (Reuters) – A rocket.

  • China completes outer dome on overseas Hualong One reactor in Pakistan

    SHANGHAI (Reuters) – China has finished.

  • Women’s sex toy maker sues New York City subway, calls ad ban sexist

    NEW YORK (Reuters) – A new.

  • EU delays decision on membership talks with Albania, North Macedonia

    LUXEMBOURG (Reuters) – European Union governments.

  • In battleground state of Florida, Trump to launch re-election campaign

    WASHINGTON (Reuters) – President Donald Trump.

  • Democratic presidential hopeful Klobuchar details top policy goals

    FILE PHOTO: Sen. Amy Klobuchar (D-MN).

  • Former Egyptian president Mursi buried in Cairo, son says

    Policemen guard outside the cemetary where.

  • Exclusive: U.S. preparing to send more troops to Middle East – sources

    WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The United States.

  • U.S. military releases new images from oil tanker attacks

    A U.S. military image released by.

  • Triple suicide attack kills at least 30 in northeast Nigeria

    MAIDUGURI, Nigeria (Reuters) – At least.

  • Stonewall uprising veterans still astounded 50 years after making history

    NEW YORK (Reuters) – Time has.

  • Freed Hong Kong democracy activist joins mass calls for leader to quit

    HONG KONG (Reuters) – Activist Joshua.

  • In Algeria, conservatives weigh in against pressure for Western-style democracy

    HAIZER, Algeria (Reuters) – While tens.

  • Chinese activists seek U.N. investigation into Tiananmen crackdown

    FILE PHOTO: Thousands of people take.

  • German town backs Merkel’s CDU, rejects AfD in vote for mayor

    GOERLITZ, Germany (Reuters) – Chancellor Angela.

  • Massive blackout hobbles South America, one-third of power back in Argentina

    BUENOS AIRES (Reuters) – Power had.

  • ‘Sea of black’ Hong Kong protesters demand leader step down

    HONG KONG (Reuters) – Hundreds of.

  • Cricket: Pakistan PM Khan tells players to beat India with mental strength

    ISLAMABAD (Reuters) – Pakistani prime minister.

  • Japanese police officer stabbed in possible targeted attack – NHK

    TOKYO (Reuters) – A Japanese police.

  • Magnitude 7.4 earthquake strikes Kermadec Islands in South Pacific: warning center

    MELBOURNE (Reuters) – A 7.4 magnitude.

  • Iran summons UK envoy over ‘unfounded’ tanker accusations

    FILE PHOTO: An oil tanker is.

  • Jailed British-Iranian aid worker in Iran starts hunger strike – husband

    LONDON (Reuters) – A British-Iranian aid.

  • State sponsor behind May tanker attacks, says UAE minister

    FILE PHOTO: United Arab Emirates Foreign.

  • Russia’s Putin gives China’s Xi ice cream on his 66th birthday

    Russian President Vladimir Putin (R) toasts.

  • Hong Kong media say controversial extradition bill may be suspended

    HONG KONG (Reuters) – Hong Kong.

  • Indian migrant girl, 6, died in Arizona desert as mother sought water

    (Reuters) – A six-year-old girl from.

  • U.S. and Gulf allies face tough task protecting oil shipping lanes

    DUBAI (Reuters) – The United States.

  • Migrants rush to enter Mexico ahead of security crackdown demanded by Trump

    CIUDAD HIDALGO, Mexico (Reuters) – Central.