WORLD Japan, US vow to expedite talks on trade deal, deescalate tensions in Persian Gulf


Japan, US vow to expedite talks on trade deal, deescalate tensions in Persian Gulf


00:48, May 28, 2019


US President Donald Trump (L) speaks during a joint press conference with Japan's Prime Minister Shinzo Abe at Akasaka Palace in Tokyo on May 27, 2019. (Photo: AFP)

The leaders of Japan and the United States on Monday said they were on the same page about a number of pertinent issues after concluding summit talks in Tokyo.

Speaking at a joint press conference, Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe said that the two countries would expedite talks which began in April towards achieving a bilateral trade deal, to achieve a "win-win relationship."

Japan has been seeking for tariffs to be removed on its industrial exports to the United States, particularly those on automobiles, one of the main sticking points prior to the US pulling out of the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP).

The United States, for its part, however, wants to be granted greater access to Japan's sensitive agricultural sector, spanning beef, wheat and pork.

The TPP has "nothing to do with the United States," US President Donald Trump told the press conference. The agreement "would have destroyed our automobile industry and many of our manufacturers," he said.

"We are not involved in the TPP so what other countries agreed to is not binding at all on the United States," said Trump.

Both leaders said that talks on trade would be accelerated, with Trump stating that he hoped the talks would result in something concrete to announce "very, very soon."

He did, however, highlight Japan's trade deficit with the United States, which he described as a "tremendous imbalance" and called for a trade deal that is on "a fair and neutral footing."

Regarding geopolitical issues, Abe told the press conference that, Japan and the United States are "completely" on the same page regarding issues related to the Korean Peninsula.

Regarding the Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK) firing projectiles earlier this month, Trump said that he did not see the DPRK's actions as violating UN Security Council resolutions.

"All I know is there have been no nuclear tests, there have been no ballistic missiles going out, there have been no long-range missiles going out," Trump said, adding that he is in "no rush" to strike a deal with the DPRK over its denuclearization.

On the issue of rising tensions between the US and Iran over a nuclear deal the former pulled out of, Abe said that Tokyo and Washington would work together to try and deescalate tensions, with Trump, for his part, stating that the US is not looking for regime change.

The two leaders underscored the importance of the two countries' alliance at the outset of their talks.

Earlier Monday, Trump became the first head of state to meet Japan's new Emperor Naruhito who ascended the throne at the beginning of May.

Trump and First Lady Melania were welcomed at the Imperial Palace in Tokyo by Emperor Naruhito and Empress Masako.

In the evening on Monday, the Trumps will attend a state banquet at the palace hosted by the imperial couple.

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