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, Bloomberg reported on Friday.
Abe told reporters in New York on Thursday night that he had frank discussions in a “warm atmosphere”
at Trump Tower. He said he explained his views on a range of issues, but declined to comment on the substance of the talks in a meeting that lasted more than an hour. “He made time for me, even though he is busy with personnel matters,”
Abe said after the meeting. “I am convinced that President-elect Trump is a leader we can trust,”
The pair agreed to meet again for broader and deeper talks when their schedules allow, Abe said.
Trump, in a brief entry on his Facebook page accompanied by a photo of the two men, said: "It was a pleasure to have Prime Minister Shinzo Abe stop by my home and begin a great friendship."
Photographs taken inside the ornate meeting room at Trump Tower showed Abe accompanied only by an interpreter and Trump by his daughter Ivanka, her husband and Trump adviser Jared Kushner, and Retired Lieutenant General Michael Flynn whom a senior Trump official said on Thursday had been offered the national security adviser position.
On the campaign trail, Trump vowed to drop a Pacific trade deal and 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.
The U.S. is Japan’s second-largest trading partner behind China, with two-way commerce reaching almost $200 billion last year. Japanese businesses provide upward of 800,000 jobs in America.