23:31 GMT05 June 2020
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    Speaking at the start of a meeting with Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, US President Donald Trump said Friday that the United States is having good trade discussions with Tokyo and that the two countries have a chance to make a long-term trade deal, Reuters reports.

    Trump said Japan was buying a "tremendous amount" of military equipment from the United States, and Washington is pressing Tokyo to get rid of its agricultural tariffs.

    Trump said he's eager to visit Japan in May and would like to see the new emperor; Emperor Akihito is set to abdicate the throne on 30 April, and his younger son Akishino is expected to become the new emperor.

    Abe responded by saying he looks forward to the trade deal negotiations, adding that Trump's upcoming visit to Tokyo will become a "symbol of unwavering bonds" between the two countries, Reuters reported.

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    Japan has been resisting US pressure to link trade with currency issues ahead of the talks between the two close allies, Reuters reports.

    Earlier, it was reported that the two leaders would discuss a range of topics including future actions to take towards North Korea following recent developments in denuclearization talks.

    Both leaders are also expected to review recent developments in the Indo-Pacific region and discuss next steps to address any challenges, a senior US administration official told reporters during a conference call on Thursday.

    Trump and Abe will also discuss efforts to enhance trade and investment between the US and Japan, according to the White House.

    In addition, the official added that Trump and Abe will talk about priorities for the G-20 Finance Ministerial that will be held in Osaka, Japan, in late June.

    On 16 April, Japanese Economy Minister Toshimitsu Motegi and US Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer discussed bilateral trade ahead of the Trump-Abe meeting.

    According to reports, Motegi and Lighthizer centered their discussions primarily on the exchange of goods between their countries.


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