Abe - Trump Meeting Underway

Abe-Trump meeting underway

The leaders of Japan and the US have highlighted the strength of their countries' alliance as they sat down for formal talks. It's the third day of President Donald Trump's state visit to Japan.

Prime Minister Shinzo Abe said, "I hope to make this visit by Mr. and Mrs. Trump something befitting the opening of a new era, Reiwa. I also want to make this an opportunity to clearly demonstrate, in an out of Japan, that the bonds of Japan-US alliance continues to be firm in the Reiwa era."

Trump said, " We understand each other very well, we're very committed to each other as nations. So we have a situation where we have the best relationship that we've ever had with Japan, and we're going to keep it that way."

Both leaders said North Korea is on the agenda.

Trump said he feels he is making progress with Pyongyang and that the situation has improved since he took office.

The president's visit also comes amid growing tensions between the US and Iran. Japan maintains friendly ties with the country and Abe is said to be considering a visit there soon.

Trump said he believes Iran would like to talk and he'd be open to the idea.

Trump also spoke about the US trade deficit with Japan and said they'll discuss cars. He said he expects to make some sort of announcement in August.

Earlier, the US president became the first foreign head of state to meet Japan's new Emperor who took the throne at the start of the month.

Emperor Naruhito and Empress Masako welcomed the President and the First Lady at the Imperial Palace.
In the evening, the Imperial couple will host a state banquet in honor of the Trumps.