Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe said he wanted to have an open and frank talk with US President Donald Trump on issues of international concern including the North Korean issue, Japanese-US economic relations, and ways to ensure that the G20 Summit in Osaka in June is successful. President Trump praised the US alliance with Japan but said there remain obstacles in bilateral trade which the two sides are working toward resolving. He expressed his hope that the two allies will soon release a statement on bilateral trade, likely in August. The US President said that he expects positive developments will come from North Korea in the near future despite the North’s recent missile tests, adding that the two sides have made progress on nuclear talks.
President Trump said the US left the door open for talks with Iran and believed that Iran was also interested in a dialogue. He expressed hope that Japan will play the role of mediator, noting that none of the parties involved wish to see negative developments in international relations.
Before the talks, President Trump met Japanese Emperor Naruhito, becoming the first foreign leader to meet the Emperor after his coronation.