Focus on Shinzo Abe, Donald Trump meeting after 'nuclear arming' and free trade shocker

Japanese foreign ministry says Abe spoke to Trump about various points in bilateral relationship.

Japan PM Abe planning to meet Trump in New York next week
Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe Reuters

Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe will meet US President-elect Donald Trump next week in New York, a senior government official said on Thursday after a telephonic conversation between the two leaders.

According to a Japanese foreign ministry official, Abe and Trump spoke for about 20 minutes and tentatively planned to meet on Nov 17. Abe will visit New York before attending the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) summit in Peru.

During the US election campaign, Trump had said Japan should pay more to support the cost of stationing US forces. He also said that if Japan develops a nuclear weapons it would be better for its military balance against neighbour North Korea, which has upset the status quo in the region by conducting nuclear and ballistic missile tests. However, Trump's statement had shocked the people of Japan.

Trump also rejected the Trans-Pacific Partnership free trade deal with Japan which was pushed by President Barack Obama.

Soon after Trump's victory on Wednesday, Abe congratulated him and confirmed close cooperation between their two nations. He termed the Japan-US alliance as "unshakeable allies" and said it is important for peace and stability in the Asia-Pacific region.

The foreign ministry official added that in response to these, Trump said he hoped to strengthen the US-Japan relationship further.

Trump also appreciated Abe's economic policy and showed interest in working with him.