Abe plans to address Trump’s concerns about Japanese trade policies and defense spending during a summit scheduled to stretch out over two days. After Friday meetings at the White House, the Japanese leader is expected to join Trump on Air Force One for a trip to the president’s Mar-a-Lago estate in Palm Beach, Fla. The Saturday agenda includes a round of golf.
“The amount of time that the president is going to spend with Prime Minister Abe is considerable,” said Michael Green, senior vice president for Asia and Japan at the Washington-based Center for Strategic & International Studies. “Abe clearly wants to start a relationship with the current administration.”
For his part, Trump is expected to reaffirm the nation’s commitment to the U.S-Japan friendship, including the security alliance.
Abe, who also met with Trump in New York City during the post-election transition, told reporters before leaving Tokyo that “I want to hold a summit that can send a message saying the Japan-U.S. alliance will strengthen further with President Trump.”
One thing Abe likely won’t do: ask Trump to revive the proposed Trans-Pacific Partnership, the seemingly defunct 12-nation trade deal in which Japan would have been a key player. Trump notified allies last month he would not ask Congress to ratify the proposed agreement that he said would have sent U.S. jobs overseas.
Instead, Abe is expected to begin talks about a revising bilateral trade agreements between the United States and Japan, and to commit to Japanese investments in the U.S. economy. “We will develop the two countries’ economies even more based on free and fair rules,” Abe told reporters.
According to Japanese media reports, Abe will push the “Japan-US Growth and Employment Initiative,” including investments in U.S. infrastructure projects that could help to create up to 700,000 jobs.
–USA TODAY, David Jackson