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WASHINGTON – Prime Minister Shinzo Abe arrived in the United States on Thursday to hold his first meeting with U.S. President Donald Trump since the latter’s inauguration last month.
Abe will seek to discuss with Trump ways to bolster bilateral trade and investment for the economic benefit of the wider Asia-Pacific region in their talks in Washington on Friday, followed by a joint press conference, according to Japanese authorities.
They are then scheduled to fly to Palm Beach, Florida, where the president has a sprawling vacation estate. Trump has said he and Abe will play a round of golf in Palm Beach.
“I hope this summit meeting will be a message (to the world) that the Japan-U.S. alliance will be stronger and tougher,” Abe told reporters before boarding a government plane at Tokyo’s Haneda airport.
A senior U.S. official said Thursday that Trump is expected to underscore the U.S. commitment to the defense of Japan in the event that China attempts to seize the Japanese-administered Senkaku Islands.