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Abe hopes to delink economy, security in summit with President Trump

On the U.S.-Japan summit in Washington today, former Kyodo News managing editor Goto explained on TV-Asahi’s “Hodo Station” news show last night that Prime Minister Abe’s foremost goals for the meeting are to elicit statements from President Trump confirming his administration’s commitment to the defense of Japan, including the U.S. military’s support in the event of a Senkaku contingency, and prevent the U.S. leader from linking security to the economy. According to the journalist, the premier will propose the launch of a discussion venue for economic issues to be co-chaired by Vice President Pence and Deputy Prime Minister Aso in a bid to preempt any remarks from the President on specific economic issues such as auto trade. With this suggestion, Abe is reportedly hoping that President Trump will agree to defer to the Vice President and other lower-ranking officials the authority to deal with “minor” economic items so that the top leaders can discuss “big picture” issues, such as the bilateral alliance’s contributions to global peace and prosperity.     

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