Trump thanks Japan for hosting US military bases
WASHINGTON — President Donald Trump thanked Japan’s prime minister Friday for hosting U.S. military bases and described the U.S.-Japanese alliance as critical in the Pacific at a time of growing concern over North Korea’s nuclear threat.
“The U.S.-Japan alliance is the cornerstone of peace and stability in the Pacific region,” Trump told reporters at a joint press conference with Prime Minister Shinzo Abe.
Trump, who spoke during the election campaign of making Japan and South Korea pay more for their own defense, thanked the Japanese for “hosting our armed forces” and said the missile and nuclear threat from North Korea is a “high priority” for the United States.
The warm public atmosphere between the two leaders amounted to a political coup for Abe, a nationalist adept at forging relationships with strongmen leaders. Abe was the only world leader to meet the Republican before his inauguration and is the second to do so since the new president took office.
Trump and Abe held talks in the Oval Office, followed by a joint news conference and a working lunch. The two leaders were to depart on Air Force One on Friday afternoon for a trip to Trump’s Mar-a-Lago Club in Florida and play golf Saturday.
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