August 9, 2019
Nagasaki--Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe suggested Friday that it remains uncertain whether the Japanese and U.S. governments will reach a trade agreement before he and U.S. President Donald Trump hold a summit in September.
"When the final agreement will be reached depends on upcoming negotiations," Abe told a press conference in the southwestern city of Nagasaki. "I can't prejudge this."
The two governments are working to hold a ministerial trade session within this month, in the run-up to the Abe-Trump summit expected to take place on the sidelines of a U.N. General Assembly session in September.
"We haven't changed our stance of seeking an early win-win outcome for both Japan and the United States," Abe said.
On a U.S.-proposed naval coalition in the Middle East, the prime minister said Japan is carefully considering what measures will be effective for ensuring safe navigation for Japanese-related ships.
With Trump reportedly poised to demand that Japan cover more of the costs of stationing U.S. forces in Japan, Abe stressed that Japan currently covers 74.5 pct of the costs, much higher than the support of other U.S. allies, including South Korea, Germany and Britain.
Abe noted that the existing agreement on such host nation support between Japan and the United States will remain valid until March 2021. Negotiations to conclude a new one have not yet started, he added. Jiji Press
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