Abe to meet US president-elect next week
TOKYO: Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe will seek to establish good personal ties and pitch the importance of the bilateral security alliance when he meets US President-elect Donald Trump in New York next week, officials said yesterday.
A Japanese government official said the pair had already talked by telephone and confirmed close cooperation, stressing the importance of the JapanUS alliance in the Asia-Pacific region.
Abe will meet Trump in New York next Thursday before going on to the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation summit in Peru.
Trump’s unexpected victory has fanned Japan’s anxiety about Washington’s commitment to security arrangements in the face of a rising China and a volatile North Korea.
His “America First” rhetoric and calls for Japan and South Korea to pay more of the cost for US troops in the region or face their possible withdrawal have worried officials.
So has his opposition to a 12-nation pan-Pacific trade pact that was a linchpin of Washington’s “pivot” to the region.
“Abe has big concerns on trade and security and on both of these, candidate Trump has been decidedly unreassuring,” said Jeffrey Kingston, director of Asian studies at Temple University’s Japan campus.
Japanese companies play a key role in the US economy, employing more than 800,000 American workers. They contributed US$78 billion (RM329.8 billion) to US exports in 2014, according to the US embassy in Tokyo. – Reuters