12:47 GMT21 October 2020
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    As the world continues to assess what the election of US President Donald Trump is bringing to global trade and economic policy, Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe has taken the bull by the horns in proposing a cooperation plan with Washington.

    Japanese media have reported that Abe's plan, a draft of which has been obtained by reporters, has blanks for specific numbers, but a government source says it will involve creating "several hundreds of jobs" in the United States, while some sources report a more specific figure of 700,000 jobs and $450 billion of investment.

    Trump made job creation for Americans a key point in his election campaign. During a recent meeting with business leaders, the President announced that his administration would provide preferences for companies that locate their production inside the US and hire Americans. He added that he would impose harsh import taxes on US companies that move production abroad and hire foreigners. During a phone conversation with Abe this month, Trump reiterated his commitment to create more jobs inside the US, according to Japanese media.

    According to Abe's plan, Tokyo and Washington will cooperate in several fields, including, first and foremost, renovating aging US infrastructure, as well as in robotics, artificial intelligence, space and defense.

    The plan consist of several large projects, including building a high-speed railway in the northeastern part of the country, and in Texas and California. Japan will provide technology and low-interest loans for the projects, also aiming to win a contract to replace 3,000 passenger train cars currently in use in the US.

    Tokyo will also seek to increase existing cooperation in the building of gas-fired and nuclear-power facilities.

    As for robotics and AI, Japan envisions joint development and production of robots capable of inspecting US infrastructure, monitoring nuclear-power decommissioning, and performing medical diagnosis and surgery. Japan will also seek to develop autonomous cars and aircraft, according to the report.

    The plan will also include negotiations on rules of trade for materials and intellectual property.

    "We hope to have constructive talks in order to seek how we can forge a mutually win-win relationship," said Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga.

    Earlier, President Trump criticized the Japanese auto industry, calling it responsible for a major US-Japan trade deficit. While Japanese media claim that Japan's role in the US trade deficit is as small as 9 percent, a major decrease, from about 50 percent in the early 1990s, the car industry still accounts for three fourths of this figure.


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    plan, Jobs, Infrastructure, investment, cooperation, Donald Trump, Shinzo Abe, Japan, United States
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