• Kyodo

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Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and U.S. President-elect Donald Trump agreed when they met last month in New York to strengthen the bilateral alliance, Japan’s ambassador to the United States said Thursday.

“As a result of this informal meeting in New York, they agreed on the importance of the alliance between Japan and the United States, and they agreed that we could do more,” Kenichiro Sasae said at a think-tank event in Washington.

Abe has refrained from saying what he discussed with Trump in the Nov. 17 talks. Abe was the first foreign leader to hold a face-to-face meeting with Trump after he won the U.S. presidential election.

Sasae, speaking in English, said that Abe and Trump “had quite extensive discussions, most of the topics you could imagine including Asia-Pacific and global agenda.”

Sasae, who did not attend the New York meeting, said the two also discussed economic issues, without elaborating.

“They came out with a sense that they could cooperate and build a relation together,” he said at the Heritage Foundation.

Sasae did not say whether the two discussed the demand Trump made during his presidential campaign that U.S. allies such as Japan and South Korea contribute more to the deployment costs for the U.S. military, or else defend themselves.

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