Trumporrific! POTUS's Pitch-Perfect Meeting With Japan's Abe
- Author: Leroy Wright Feb 12, 2017,
Feb 12, 2017, 21:26
Mr Abe was the first foreign leader to visit Mr Trump after his election in November, and they have spoken a number of times since then, according to the officials. Abe's wife Akie sat next to Trump while USA first lady Melania sat next to Abe. Also present at the function was Robert Kraft, owner of the New England Patriots, which won the Super Bowl on February 5.
Hoping to put behind any friction remaining from his sometimes provocative statements during last year's presidential campaign, Mr Trump hugged Mr Abe as he arrived at the White House, lavished praise on him and his nation, and offered strong reassurances about the United States' commitment to Japan's defence.
Abe pledged Japan would help create United States jobs, hoping to persuade Trump to turn down the heat on economic matters and stand by the alliance.
Already in a domestic battle over his immigration order, President Donald Trump now faces a fresh foreign provocation in his first weeks in office - an apparent ballistic missile test by North Korea. The White House said Trump reaffirmed his administration would honor Beijing's "One China" policy that stipulates Taiwan is officially part of China despite the island having a separate government.
While the administration maintains that all options are on the table - Including a Supreme Court appeal - Trump said Friday he was considering signing a "brand new order" as early as Monday, which could address some of the legal issues the court has identified.
Trump's trip to Mar-a-Lago had begun as a bonding session for Trump and Abe.
"Japanese bullet trains are known for their speed, and safety", Mr. Abe said, adding, with the latest magnetic technology, it would take only one hour to travel from from Washington, DC to NY where Trump Tower exists.
While the worldwide panel did not reveal numbers, the South Korean government has reportedly maintained that nearly 3,000 soldiers and civilians from the South were confirmed to have been kidnapped by North Korea during and after the war.
Mr Abe spoke first and longest, though his statement was terse.
"North Korea's most recent missile launch is absolutely intolerable", Abe said through a translator.
Trump sought to present the two countries in close harmony over shared challenges on North Korea's nuclear weapons programs and China's aggression in the South China Sea - "both of which I consider a very, very high priority", he said.
Importantly, the joint statement also allowed for Japan to continue pursuing the TPP, even after Trump's January 23 decision to withdraw the group's biggest economy from the 12-nation pact.
"And also we are going to further reinforce our alliance".
He stated that America is a "champion of democracy". With that, they left the room.
In the opening days of his presidency, Mr Trump's diplomacy had a rocky stretch that included contentious phone calls with the leaders of Mexico and Australia.
This weekend's jaunt to Florida, for which Trump is reportedly footing the bill, will not be the first time Japanese and United States leaders have attempted to bond over a game of golf.
After a working lunch at the White House on Friday, the two leaders planned to board Air Force One and fly to Palm Beach, Florida, where they were to head to Mar-a-Lago, Mr Trump's club, for dinner with their wives and a weekend of relaxation. Reporters and photographers from both countries did not catch a glimpse of the pair as they played.