Japan PM aims to strengthen U.S. alliance under incoming US President Donald Trump

Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, speaking in parliament hours before U.S. President-elect Donald Trump takes office, on Friday said he wanted to further strengthen the Japan-U.S. alliance. Trump sparked worries in Tokyo with campaign comments, which included a pledge to make allies pay more for the security provided by U.S. forces and opposition to the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) trade deal.

“The Japan-U.S. alliance has been is and will be the cornerstone of our country’s diplomatic and security policies.
“This is an immutable principle.
“I am aiming to visit the United States as soon as possible to further fortify the bond of alliance together with new President Trump,’’ Abe said in his policy speech.
Abe met with Trump in New York after the election in November and called him a “trustworthy leader”.
In his speech to parliament, the prime minister repeated his support for TPP, which would go into deep freeze if the U.S. drops out.
“As a flag bearer for free trade, we will build an economic system of the 21st century based on fair rules.
“The TPP agreement sets the standard for that purpose and serves as the foundation for future economic cooperation,’’ he said.
Japan has ratified the TPP and notified New Zealand, secretariat for the TPP, it had completed the domestic procedures for the pact, becoming the first country among the 12 signatory nations to do so.
New Zealand has ratified the TPP, but not completed the whole domestic procedures.
Koichi Hamada, an adviser to Abe and emeritus professor of economics at Yale University, told newsmen that Japan should push back if Trump bases trade and other economic policy on “wrong economics”.

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