Sankei and Nikkei wrote that Deputy Prime Minister Aso met with a representative of Secretary of Commerce-designate Wilbur Ross in Tokyo yesterday and received a letter from the renowned businessman saying that cooperative relations between the U.S. and Japan are important. Aso and the unidentified representative reportedly exchanged views on Abenomics and the Trump administration’s economic policy. The papers said the meeting was intended to build mutual trust between the Abe and the incoming Republican administration, adding that it was arranged because Ross had cancelled a scheduled trip to Japan following his appointment as commerce chief.
Sankei took up a remark made by Ross on Fox News that “the TPP is not going to happen.” Ross also underscored that the Trump administration will seek bilateral arrangements with trade partners. Nikkei reported on remarks made at the Diet on Thursday by Prime Minister Abe, who expressed a cautious view about forging a bilateral FTA with the U.S. by saying: “Administrative procedures will become burdensome if Japan concludes trade arrangements with other nations individually. It would greatly inconvenience small businesses.”