President Donald J. Trump’s Summit Meeting with Prime Minister Shinzo Abe

President Donald Trump and Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe smile during their meeting at Trump's private Mar-a-Lago club, Tuesday, April 17, 2018, in Palm Beach, Fla. (AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais)

On April 17-18 at Mar-a-Lago, President Donald J. Trump and Prime Minister Shinzo Abe held their sixth meeting, and third major summit, and affirmed their strong determination to strengthen our shared resolve on North Korea, and increase the capability of the U.S.-Japan Alliance to confront all emerging threats to peace, stability, and an international order based on the rule of law. The two leaders expressed their joint commitment to a free and open Indo-Pacific and an enhanced U.S.-Japan economic relationship.

President Trump and Prime Minister Abe confirmed their commitment to achieving the permanent and verifiable denuclearization of North Korea.  They also reaffirmed that North Korea needs to abandon all weapons of mass destruction and ballistic missile programs. President Trump and Prime Minister Abe underscored that the global maximum pressure campaign will continue until North Korea denuclearizes.  President Trump and Prime Minister Abe reiterated their strong commitment to boosting trilateral cooperation with the Republic of Korea in the face of the North Korean threat and coordinating closely in advance of U.S.-North Korea talks.  President Trump commended Japan’s efforts to prevent North Korean ship-to-ship transfers that are in violation of UN Security Council resolutions.  The two leaders underscored that efforts to prevent ship-to-ship transfers should be expanded.  President Trump affirmed that he will urge North Korea to promptly resolve its abductions of Japanese citizens, recalling the strong impression he received when he met the families of the abductees during his visit to Japan last November.

President Trump affirmed the importance of further progress in the area of bilateral economic, trade, and investment ties, noting the United States’ persistent trade deficit with Japan.  President Trump stressed his expectation that as allies and like-minded global economic players, Japan and the United States will take new steps to expand bilateral trade and investment in order to strengthen economic growth and job creation.  Accordingly, the two leaders agreed to intensify trade and investment discussions, building on progress achieved in the U.S.-Japan Economic Dialogue.  For the United States, these consultations for free, fair, and reciprocal trade and investment will be led by U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer.  The two leaders committed to advance discussions on how both countries can serve as a model for bilateral and global trade and investment promotion in the 21st century.  The two leaders also committed to coordinate enforcement activities against unfair trade practices by third countries.

President Trump and Prime Minister Abe affirmed the importance of a free and open Indo-Pacific region underpinned by respect for the shared norms and values that enable every responsible nation in the region to prosper.  President Trump and Prime Minister Abe affirmed that infrastructure projects in the Indo-Pacific should  be market-based, clean and transparent, responsibly financed, and feature open and fair access, social and environmental considerations, and standards of good governance.

President Trump and Prime Minister Abe underscored a joint commitment to safeguard unimpeded lawful commerce and respect for international law, including freedoms of navigation and overflight and other lawful uses of the sea.  Prime Minister Abe and President Trump shared the view that South China Sea claimants, including China, should halt their militarization of disputed features.  Prime Minister Abe and President Trump also shared the view that China and other claimants should manage and resolve disputes peacefully and in accordance with the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea, to give full respect to legal and diplomatic processes, such as arbitration, and embed these principles in ongoing efforts by ASEAN to negotiate an effective code of conduct with China. Such diplomatic efforts should lead to demilitarization of disputed features and the maintenance of a peaceful and open South China Sea.  The two leaders also reaffirmed that Article V of the U.S.-Japan Treaty of Mutual Cooperation and Security covers the Senkaku Islands in the East China Sea and that they oppose any unilateral action that seeks to change the status quo.

President Trump reaffirmed the United States’ unwavering commitment to Japan’s defense through the full range of U.S. military capabilities.  President Trump also reiterated the United States’ commitment to provide advanced weapons to Japan, including ballistic missile defense, and the continued provision of defense articles to ensure the readiness and effectiveness of the Japanese Self Defense Force.  President Trump welcomed Japan’s continued efforts to expand its role and augment its capabilities within the Alliance.  President Trump and Prime Minister Abe reiterated their commitment to the bilateral plan for the realignment of the United States Forces, Japan to maintain their operational and deterrent capability while mitigating impact of the U.S. forces on local communities.  The leaders reconfirmed that the relocation of Marine Corps Air Station (MCAS) Futenma to the Camp Schwab/Henokosaki area and in adjacent waters is the only solution that avoids the continued use of Marine Corps Air Station Futenma. As such, they called for the steady implementation of the construction plan for the Futenma Replacement Facility (FRF) to ensure the Alliance’s ability to provide for peace and security in the region.