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U.S. President Donald Trump is willing to work with new Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga to enhance the bilateral relationship, which has grown stronger during the long tenure of Suga’s predecessor Shinzo Abe, the White House said Wednesday.

“President Donald J. Trump is ready to continue pursuing the vision of a free and open Indo-Pacific that he and former Prime Minister Shinzo Abe forged, including by further strengthening the U.S.-Japan alliance and advancing our shared goals,” the White House said in a statement, referring to a concept that has evolved amid China’s growing assertiveness in the region.

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