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PM Abe holds news conference after signing joint statement on Japan-U.S. trade deal

All TV networks reported this morning that Prime Minister Abe held a news conference last night (New York time) after his summit meeting with President Trump. NHK reported that Abe voiced strong concern about the Middle East situation after the recent attack on Saudi oil facilities, noting that this has a direct impact on global economic stability. He said that he confirmed at his latest talks with Iranian President Rouhani his nation’s desire for peace and stability in the region and also discussed ways to ease Middle East tensions at his summit meeting with President Trump, stating that now is the time for Japan, which is a U.S. ally as well as a longstanding friend of Iran, to take the initiative in easing tensions and working for peace and stability in the region.

 

On the new Japan-U.S. trade deal, Abe emphasized that the two sides were able to reach a “win-win agreement” that will contribute significantly to Japan’s economic growth as well as global economic growth based on open and fair rules. He said the new accord, together with the Japan-EU EPA and the TPP, signals the birth of a broad free economic zone comprising 60% of the global economy with Japan as its hub. He also pointed out that he confirmed with the President that the joint statement they signed means no additional tariffs will be imposed on Japanese cars and auto parts. He said that the new trade deal will contribute to economic development in both countries.

 

Regarding relations with the ROK, Abe was shown saying that Japan’s tighter control on exports to the ROK is completely unrelated to the requisitioned workers issue, maintaining that Japan has been approving transactions that cleared security checks and that this measure will not affect trade with other countries. He also expressed regret at the ROK’s linking export controls with security by its decision to scrap its GSOMIA with Japan, stating that Japan will continue to ask the ROK to honor its international commitments.

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