US and Japan leaders commit to bilateral cooperation

World Today

President Donald Trump speaks during a news conference with Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, Friday, Feb. 10, 2017, in the East Room of the White House in Washington. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)

Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe came to Washington with a number of infrastructure investments. 

Tokyo said this could create 700,000 U.S. jobs, including by building high speed rail. 

CGTN’s Jessica Stone reports.

US and Japan leaders commit to bilateral cooperation

US and Japan leaders commit to bilateral cooperation

Trump said that reassurance extends to disputed islands in the East China Sea, known as Diaoyou in China and Senkakus, by the Japanese. CGTN's Jessica Stone reports.
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“I’m sure you appreciate the speed and comfort and safety with the latest Mag-Lev technology from the Washington, D.C. to New York where Trump Tower [is located in]. Only one hour would it take if you ride Mag-Lev to New York and Japan with our high-level of technical capability, we can contribute to President Trump’s growth strategy,” Abe said.

It’s a technique which past Japanese leaders used to ease the U.S.-Japan trade frictions in the 1990s. Trump’s protectionist stance and withdrawal from a regional free trade pact has set Tokyo on edge.

Abe now says the goals of an improved economic relationship can be achieved through negotiations, but both leaders are entrusting future U.S.-Japan trade talks to their deputies.

“On the economy, we will seek a trading relationship that is free, fair and reciprocal. Benefiting both countries,” Abe said.

Abe made it clear he wanted to move beyond Trump’s accusations that Japan was taking U.S. jobs. At a speech at the U.S Chamber of Commerce, he blamed China for the global trade imbalances and reminded Americans that Japan has created more than 800,000 jobs in the United States.

“Needless to say no one in Japan complains that his or her job has been taken away by the Americans, because the Japanese have gained in business as well. Truly a win-win relationship,” Abe said.

But Abe also needs a win-win on the security relationship between Tokyo and Washington. On the campaign trail, Trump called their mutual defense pact into question, asking Tokyo to pay more for U.S. troops stationed there, even if it means Japan develops nuclear weapons.

“We are committed to security of Japan and all areas under its administrative control and to further strengthening our alliance. It’s the cornerstone of peace and stability in the Pacific region,” Trump said.

Trump said that reassurance extends to disputed islands in the East China Sea, known as Diaoyou in China and Senkakus, by the Japanese.  Just last week, the new U.S. defense secretary made similar remarks during a visit to Tokyo. China responded that those comments contributed to instability in the region.

The talks now move to Trump’s private golf course in Florida, where both leaders are looking to informal talks.


Anthony Chan discusses US-Japan economic ties

What will Abe’s visit with President Trump mean for both countries economically? For more on this question, CGTN’s Rachelle Akuffo spoke with Anthony Chase, managing director and chief economist at Chase.