Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe Meets Donald Trump, Concludes he’s Trustworthy

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Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe said Donald Trump was a trustworthy leader in comments after his first meeting with the U.S. President-elect whose statements on trade and security have sparked concern in Japan.

Abe told reporters in New York he had frank discussions in a “warm atmosphere” at the meeting at Trump Tower that lasted more than an hour.

He had sought to turn on the charm ahead of the appointment, referring to Trump’s “extraordinary talents” in a congratulatory message, and telling reporters as he left Tokyo that it was a “tremendous honor” to be holding talks with Trump ahead of other world leaders. He changed his schedule for a trip to Peru to spend time in New York.

Trump has vowed to drop a Pacific trade deal and has accused Japan of manipulating its currency. The president-elect has also stirred unease in Tokyo by threatening to pull U.S. troops out of the country unless it pays more for their upkeep, and has suggested Japan might have to develop its own nuclear weapons.

For a preview of the meeting, click here

Abe is likely to have trodden softly on potential areas of disagreement, instead discussing the general importance of free trade and the close relationship between pacifist Japan and its only formal ally. Some analysts suggested the two could also bond over their shared interest in golf.