Abe says USA trip to convey message of strong alliance

On Friday, Japan's Prime Minister Shinzo Abe went to the White House to meet with President Donald Trump. Then events half-a-world away provided a more significant example of cooperation.

The two leaders are also expected to discuss sharing the price tag for us troops in Japan as well as threats from North Korea and China's military activities in the South China Sea.

Japan aims to "replace as many as 3,000 train wagons now in use on the US railways and subways with the new models over the next 10 years", the daily said.

North Korea fired a ballistic missile into the sea off its east coast early on Sunday, South Korea's military said, the first time the isolated state has tested such a device since U.S. President Donald Trump took office.

U.S. president Donald Trump has pledged to "rapidly" announce further measures to increase the security of the United States as he criticised a decision by a federal court to uphold a freeze on his controversial travel ban.

The Japanese government had been especially wary about Trump making specific demands in connection with the auto industry, but the president did not present any counterarguments to Abe's explanations.

Before joining the president in the White House, Abe addressed the US Chamber of Commerce and sought to reassure nervous business leaders in both nations of the steady alliance between the United States and Japan. With that, they left the room, a surprise of sorts given that the usually outspoken Mr. Trump neither condemned nor denounced the launch.

Abe and Trump are also to play a round of golf in Florida this weekend after the meeting at the White House, with Trump saying that he would make sure Abe is his partner in the game, rather than a competitor.

The previous day, Mr Trump startled some observers of his news conference with Mr Abe, when he was shown not to be wearing a translation earpiece, until the question and answer session.

Japan's Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga confirmed the missile had not reached Japanese territorial waters, adding that Tokyo would lodge a strong protest over the incident to North Korea. Focusing on the positive, he said the Mr. Abe visit had been "very, very good" and that he and the Japanese leader "got to know each other very, very well" over their two days of meals, meetings and golfing.

A media pool traveled in Trump's motorcade to the luxurious club, where an oversized American flags greets golfers entering the clubhouse, but was not offered a glimpse of the two men.

Trump, who operates 18 golf courses around the world, is said to be one of the best golfers in presidential history. Compared to the less-than-desirable outcome of Trump's recent phone call with Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull, the leader of a US ally which so far has fought all modern wars alongside the United States, Abe is getting the red-carpet treatment from Trump's White House. Pro golfer Ernie Els joined them on the greens.

This was not the only odd moment of Abe's White House visit.

Trump met Friday in the Oval Office with Abe.

"Good morning from Mar-a-Lago".

They were to depart later for Palm Beach, Florida, for a weekend stay at Trump's Mar-a-Lago retreat with their wives.

  • Carolyn Briggs