Prime Minister Shinzo Abe recorded a video message for the opening reception of the “Mt. Fuji Dialogue,” an international conference cosponsored by the Japan Center for Economic Research and the Japan Institute of International Affairs. The event was held in Tokyo on Oct. 25. Lawmakers started deliberating on a bill to ratify the Japan-U.S. trade agreement at the Lower House plenary session on Oct. 24. Referring to the agreement, the prime minister said in the video message, “I expect that the early effectuation of the agreement will further strengthen the Japan-U.S. relationship,” indicating a policy for further expanding trade and investment.
Bearing in mind U.S. President Donald Trump’s visit to Japan in May, Abe said, “The Japan-U.S. alliance is stronger than ever.” The prime minister also touched on the issues of North Korea’s nuclear weapons and missiles including its ballistic missile launch etc. and pointed out: “The security environment in East Asia is growing more severe and uncertain. Japan and the U.S. have never been more expected to play a leading role than now.” In this way, Abe emphasized his intention for Japan and the U.S. together to resolve international issues.
Charge d’Affaires ad interim Joseph Young of the U.S. Embassy Tokyo gave remarks at the reception. In reference to relations with North Korea and China, he said, “It is ideal for Japan, the U.S. and South Korea to cooperate with one other, but no one would say that the current situation is optimal.”