The Japanese government is considering arranging Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s visit to the United States for April 17-19, sources told Jiji Press on Tuesday.
During the visit, Abe is set to hold talks with U.S. President Donald Trump and confirm the two countries’ close cooperation in addressing North Korea’s nuclear arms and missile threats.
The Abe-Trump summit may take place in a location other than Washington, the sources said.
Abe aims to reaffirm cooperation with Trump on North Korean issues before a meeting between the U.S. president and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un expected to take place by May.
The Japanese leader is expected to ask Trump to discuss the issue of abductions of Japanese nationals by North Korea in his meeting with Kim.
Abe also plans to call on Trump to urge North Korea to abandon its intercontinental ballistic missiles that can reach the U.S. mainland as well as short- and medium-range ballistic missiles that can target Japan, the sources said.
Japanese industry hopes that Abe will seek support from Trump to exempt Japanese products from tariffs that the United States imposed globally last week to restrict imports of steel and aluminum.