Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe to visit Donald Trump next month

The Japanese premier was one of five foreign leaders to speak with Mr Trump by phone

Mr Trump met the Japanese leader in New York last year after his election victory
Mr Trump met the Japanese leader in New York last year after his election victory

President Donald Trump has spoken with Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and the two are scheduled to meet next month in Washington.

According to a readout from the White House, the president reaffirmed “ironclad US commitment” to Japan’s security as well as Defence Secretary James Mattis’ upcoming visit to the region in a phone call.

In November, Mr Abe became the first foreign head of state to meet with Mr Trump after his election, though the meeting stirred controversy because of the fact Mr Trump’s daughter Ivanka sat in on the meeting, along with her husband, Jared Kushner, who is now a senior adviser to Trump.

Japan’s Prime Minister Shinzo Abe meets with Donald Trump and his daughter, Ivanka, at Trump Tower in Manhattan, New York (Reuters )

The two leaders also spoke about establishing a bilateral trade agreement.

Earlier this week, Mr Trump announced the US would withdraw from the Trans Pacific Partnership (TPP), the 12-nation free trade agreement which included the US and Japan, along with countries such as Mexico, Australia, New Zealand, Canada, Vietnam, Malaysia, Singapore, Chile, Brunei and Peru.

Mr Trump frequently criticised the TPP on the campaign trail and hit Hillary Clinton for previously calling it “the gold standard”, and his opposition to other free trade agreements such as the North American Free Trade Agreement was seen as a reason why he won support in previously Democratic strongholds such as Pennsylvania, Wisconsin and Michigan.

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