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Japan and U.S. consider eighth Abe-Trump summit in late September

Kyodo

Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and U.S. President Donald Trump might hold another summit around Sept. 25 in the United States, Japanese government sources said.

The summit, which would be the eighth for the two leaders, would take place shortly after Abe is expected to be re-elected leader of the ruling Liberal Democratic Party on Sept. 20. He is also scheduled to attend the 73rd session of the U.N. General Assembly in New York soon after, the sources said Friday.

The LDP’s leadership race effectively decides who will be the next prime minister.

Abe and Trump are expected to discuss the North Korea nuclear, missile and abduction issues at the summit. He will likely seek to coordinate bilateral efforts to break what is increasingly being viewed as a stalemate in U.S.-North Korea denuclearization talks, marked by U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo’s recently canceled trip to North Korea, the sources said.

Trade will also likely be on the agenda, given that Trump has taken issue with the massive trade deficits the United States has rung up with countries including Japan.

Tokyo and Washington have launched high-level trade talks, and Japan is weighing the possibility of holding another round before the summit to discuss issues related to the auto and agricultural sectors, the sources said.

Japan remains wary of the U.S. push for a bilateral free trade agreement as Tokyo is pursuing multilateral pacts.

If Abe wins another three-year term, it will boost the likelihood of him becoming Japan’s longest-serving prime minister.

The abduction issue involves Japanese who were kidnapped by North Korean agents in the 1970s and 1980s.