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Gist of joint news conference by Deputy PM Aso, Vice President Pence

Opening remarks


Deputy Prime Minister Taro Aso: We were able to open up a new page for Japan-U.S. relations. Security and the economy are the two wheels of the cart of the Japan-U.S. alliance. The two countries should set high standards for trade and investment and spread these free and fair trade rules throughout Asia and the Pacific. The Japan-U.S. relationship will shift from friction to cooperation.


Vice President Mike Pence: We always stand with Japan for its defense and prosperity. We will increase the pressure until North Korea abandons its nuclear programs. We are hoping for more balanced relationships with our trading partners, including Japan. Our goal is fair trade. It is necessary to remove barriers. We hope for a vision that will benefit both countries on an equal footing.




Q: How will you conduct the trade negotiations? Is a free trade agreement (FTA) your ultimate goal?


Aso: This was a first step toward continuing constructive discussions from a broad strategic perspective.


Pence: The TPP is a thing of the past. We would like to build bilateral trade relationships with the nations of the world. President Trump believes that this is in the U.S.’s national interest. We may possibly start negotiations for an FTA in the future.


Q: What concrete actions are you planning to take against North Korea?


Pence: All options are on the table. We will not stop until we achieve a denuclearized Korean peninsula.

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