Prime Minister Shinzo Abe on Saturday congratulated Donald Trump on his inauguration as U.S. president and pledged to bolster the Japan-U.S. alliance.
In his congratulatory statement addressed to Trump, Abe said he looks forward to together tackling issues facing the world and ensuring the peace and prosperity of the Asia-Pacific region.
The prime minister said he hoped to hold a summit with Trump as soon as possible to convey to the world the importance of the two countries’ alliance.
Abe said that while the Asia-Pacific region is the source of global economic growth, the surrounding security environment is becoming increasingly concerning.
The role played by the alliance, which is bonded by universal values such as freedom, democracy, human rights and the rule of law, is increasingly important, the statement said, adding he would like to further strengthen the alliance.
Abe is in the final stages of arranging a meeting with the new U.S. president as soon as the first half of February, NHK reported Saturday, without saying where it got the information.
Trump was sworn in as the 45th president of the United States on Friday at a ceremony on Capitol Hill in Washington.
Foreign Minister Fumio Kishida, meanwhile, said in his congratulatory statement to new Vice President Mike Pence that he is certain Pence will exert leadership toward further strengthening the alliance.
Pence visited Japan in the past, has many acquaintances in the country and is a supporter of Japan-U.S. relations, Kishida said.