Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe prepares for serious match with Trump

TOKYO — Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe will meet U.S. President Donald Trump this weekend amid concern that results of the meeting may greatly affect the Japanese economy.

The first Japan-U.S. summit since Trump took office will be held in Washington on Friday and at the new U.S. leader’s estate in Palm Beach, Florida, on Saturday. The two may play golf at the Trump estate to deepen their friendship.

The meeting will be a “more serious match than ever,” a senior Japanese government official said, as the Trump administration has yet to be fully staffed, preventing the usual preparations before national leaders meet on the details of issues on the agenda. Trump should “make light of” Abe if the Japanese side takes the stance that it will “bring home the president’s demands for study,” the official added.

Abe will be accompanied by Finance Minister Taro Aso, Foreign Minister Fumio Kishida and Economy, Trade and Industry Minister Hiroshige Seko. The exchange of heated arguments between the two leaders is expected.

Trump has repeatedly slammed Japan on trade with the U.S. and the yen-dollar exchange rate. Although it is uncertain what Trump will bring to the table, bilateral trade, especially Japan’s automobile imports and exports, is the matter of greatest concern on the Japanese side.

Trump has consistently stressed the need for creating jobs in the U.S. and narrowing the country’s trade deficit while targeting companies that export to the U.S. He has specifically called out Toyota Motor and other Japanese automakers.

“I will explain Japanese companies’ contribution to the U.S. economy and dispel the president’s misunderstanding,” Abe said, noting that increased production at Japanese automakers’ plants in the U.S. has “already created 1.5 million jobs.”

It is likely that the two sides will discuss a bilateral trade deal as well.

source Asian review.

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