Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and U.S. President Donald Trump on Monday concurred on the importance of the two countries’ security alliance and agreed to expedite bilateral trade talks to quickly achieve a mutually beneficial outcome. Abe said Trump endorsed his plan to pursue a meeting “without precondition” with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un and that he confirmed with Trump that Tokyo and Washington are on the same page in dealing with Pyongyang.
Monday’s summit between Abe and Trump was their 11th as the top leaders of Japan and the United States. It followed the talks the two leaders held in Washington in late April, and they are scheduled to meet again in late June on the sidelines of the Group of 20 summit that Abe hosts in Osaka. Trump’s four-day visit as a state guest through Tuesday has come as a reminder of the strong rapport that Abe has built up with the U.S. president — they spent most of Sunday together, eating breakfast, lunch and dinner, playing golf in the morning and then watching the final day of the Summer Grand Sumo Tournament at Ryogoku Kokugikan in Tokyo, where Trump presented the President’s Cup to the winner of the tournament.