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Abe comments on upcoming U.S.-Japan summit

Sankei highlighted remarks made to senior ruling officials on Monday by Prime Minister Abe, who commented on the planned summit with President Trump at the White House later this week by saying: “With the President I am planning to exchange the most up-to-date information on North Korea and adjust our policies prior to the U.S.-North Korea summit. I would like to reaffirm close bilateral cooperation to resolve, in particular, the abduction issue, which is of utmost importance.” With regard to his attendance at the G7 summit in Canada after his Washington trip, the premier vowed to make utmost efforts to ensure that the leaders can issue a “strong message” in support of a successful summit between the U.S. and North Korea in Singapore. 

 

As for the G7 summit, Nikkei wrote that the Japanese leader’s goal of serving as a “bridge” between the U.S. and European leaders may be difficult to achieve due to a deep division between them over the U.S. tariffs on metals and the Iran nuclear deal. The daily projected heated discussions among the participants on these topics, predicting that President Trump may become isolated. Pointing out that Abe needs to take a concerted approach with his European and Canadian counterparts on the trade front while also maintaining close coordination with the U.S. leader on North Korea, the article speculated that Abe will be forced to walk a tightrope. The premier commented on the planned G7 discussions on trade by saying: “I would like to hold candid discussions with my colleagues amid rising protectionism and inward-looking tendencies…. I will exercise leadership so as to strengthen the free trade system and create rules that achieve a ‘win-win’ global economy.”  The same article quoted an unnamed senior MOFA official as saying about the upcoming U.S.-Japan summit: “Top priority will be given to bilateral coordination on North Korea.” The official predicted that the premier may opt not to focus on trade issues to avoid provoking President Trump.

 

Mainichi quoted an unnamed senior MOFA official as saying in regard to President’s Trump’s remark about not wanting to use the term “maximum pressure,” “We don’t understand his true intention.” The paper quoted a GOJ source as saying: “PM Abe will explain to the President once again the significance of the sanctions” in the Washington summit.    

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