WASHINGTON – Prime Minister Shinzo Abe plans to visit the United States in late April for talks with President Donald Trump, sources familiar with bilateral relations said Wednesday.
In the envisioned April 26-27 trip, Abe and Trump are likely to discuss trade negotiations the two governments may start the same month, as well as a planned visit by Trump to Japan in late May, the sources said.
But the timing of Abe’s trip could change, given the possibility that Trump and Chinese President Xi Jinping may hold a summit meeting in late April to reach a trade deal.
In the planned talks, Abe and Trump are also expected to discuss how best to deal with North Korea in the wake of the collapse of a second summit between Trump and the North’s leader Kim Jong Un in late February in Vietnam.
Abe and Trump are expected to affirm that the international community will coordinate in maintaining sanctions on Pyongyang until it achieves complete denuclearization.
On bilateral trade, the two leaders are likely to exchange views on what they aim to achieve in the negotiations.
While the United States desires a free trade agreement that would cover a range of areas such as goods, services, investment and currency, Japan is insisting the two governments aim for a trade deal on goods only.
Abe and Trump are also expected to coordinate the U.S. leader’s trip to Japan, which will likely take place from May 26 to 28. If the trip is realized, Trump would likely become the first foreign state guest to meet with Crown Prince Naruhito after he accedes the throne on May 1, following the abdication of his father Emperor Akihito.
The Japanese government also plans to invite Trump to the Group of 20 summit planned in Osaka at the end of June. Should all meetings occur, it would be rather unusual for the leaders of Japan and the U.S. to meet for three consecutive months.
Prior to the trip to the U.S., Abe is considering visiting France and other European countries as part of preparations for the Osaka Group of 20 summit in June, they said.
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