Asia-Pacific: Japanese Government Eager to Learn Mattis’ Japan Views

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According to government sources, Mattis likely did a stint in Okinawa for training during his career in the marines, but his views on Japan-U.S. relations are not known. The government is striving to gather Mattis’ remarks on the Asian-Pacific region and other matters.

The Yomiuri Shimbun reports: The Japanese government is hastening to gather information on retired U.S. Marine Corps Gen. James Mattis, whom U.S. President-elect Donald Trump has chosen as the next secretary of defense. Mattis is said to have had hardly any contact with Japan and his stance toward Japan is unknown.

“The top brass of the U.S. forces has always valued the U.S.-Japan alliance. I don’t think [Mattis] is going to propose a reduction of U.S. bases in Japan.”

— Senior official of the Defense Ministry

In Japan, Defense Minister Tomomi Inada told reporters on Friday that she intends to build a good relationship with the United States “regardless of who [the next U.S. secretary of defense] is” by helping the new secretary to “fully recognize the importance of our ties.” Inada was inspecting the Air Self-Defense Force’s Gifu Air Base on the day.

Japan's Self-Defense Force honor guards prepare for a welcoming ceremony of new Defence Minister Gen Nakatani in Tokyo on December 25, 2014. Prime Minister Shinzo Abe promised December 24 at the start of his new term to revive Japan's economy so he can pursue "powerful diplomacy", but China's state media warned him to be wary about changing the pacifist constitution. AFP PHOTO / KAZUHIRO NOGI (Photo credit should read KAZUHIRO NOGI/AFP/Getty Images)

[Read the full story here, at The Japan News]

According to government sources, Mattis likely did a stint in Okinawa for training during his career in the marines, but his views on Japan-U.S. relations are not known. The government is striving to gather Mattis’ remarks on the Asian-Pacific region and other matters. Read the rest of this entry »


Shinzo Abe: ‘Our alliance will not function without trust. I came away convinced that President-elect Trump is a leader who can be trusted’

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After the talks, Abe gave a golf driver to Trump as a gift, while Trump gave a golf outfit to Abe.

NEW YORK — Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and U.S. President-elect Donald Trump held a meeting in New York on Thursday evening.

It is believed that Abe emphasized during the meeting the importance of the Japan-U.S. alliance and free trade mechanisms, such as the Trans-Pacific Partnership agreement.

After the meeting with Trump, Abe told reporters, “It gave me confidence that the two of us can build a relationship of trust.”

Abe and Trump agreed to meet again.

It was Trump’s first meeting with a foreign leader since winning the U.S. presidential election. It is extremely rare for a Japanese prime minister to meet with a U.S. president-elect.

[Read the full story here, at The Japan News]

The talks were held in Trump’s residence within Trump Tower in Manhattan. The meeting lasted about 90 minutes, longer than the initially scheduled 45 minutes. Abe had only his interpreter present.

Trump had the following people present: retired Lt. Gen. Michael Flynn, former head of the Defense Intelligence Agency, who is seen as likely to take the national security adviser’s post; Ivanka, Trump’s eldest daughter; and Jared Kushner, Ivanka’s husband. Read the rest of this entry »