Abe: Trump Promises Cooperation On Abduction Issue

Abe: Trump promises cooperation on abduction issue

Japan's Prime Minister says US President Donald Trump has promised to cooperate fully with Japan on the issue of Japanese nationals abducted by North Korea.

He also said they agreed to accelerate negotiations for a new trade deal.

Abe and Trump talked for nearly two hours at the White House on Friday.

Abe told reporters after the summit that they discussed in depth how to proceed with the issues of North Korea.

He said Japan is determined to play an active role in the denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula.

Abe also said he received a detailed explanation about discussion of the abduction issue during Trump's second summit with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un.

Abe said it is his turn to face Kim next and try to solve the issue, and Trump agreed to cooperate fully.

The prime minister said Japan's minister in charge of trade talks, Toshimitsu Motegi, and US Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer would accelerate negotiations for a trade deal, in line with a joint statement issued last September.

Abe said President Trump will visit Japan as the first state guest of the new "Reiwa" era, which begins May 1.

He said the visit is an opportunity to show the world that the two countries have a strong bond and will continue to work together on various issues in the new era.