U.S. President Donald Trump speaks in the Oval Office at the White House in Washington on Wednesday. Photo: REUTERS/Kevin Lamarque

Trump likely to visit Japan in May, return for G20 in June

By Makini Brice

U.S. President Donald Trump is expected to visit Japan in May to meet with the country's new emperor and then return in June for a G20 gathering, a White House official said on Wednesday after a phone call between Trump and Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe.

Trump's first visit will likely take place from May 26 to 28, when he is expected to become the first foreign dignitary to meet Crown Prince Naruhito after he succeeds his father, Akihito, as emperor of Japan on May 1, NHK said, citing Japanese officials.

Asked later in the Oval Office if he would be visiting Japan in May, Trump said, "I will be, at a certain time."

Trump will also attend the Osaka meeting of the Group of 20 largest world economies in June, the White House official said.

Trump and Abe spoke by phone on Wednesday to coordinate ahead of the U.S. leader's meeting next week in Hanoi with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un.

"The two leaders reaffirmed their commitment to achieving the final, fully verified denuclearization" of North Korea, White House spokeswoman Sarah Sanders said.

Japan's Foreign Ministry said the two leaders discussed issues of mutual concern involving North Korea, including the return of Japanese nationals abducted by North Korea and the development of nuclear weapons and missile systems by Pyongyang.

They agreed to have another telephone conversation after the summit between Trump and Kim in Hanoi on Feb. 27 and 28, the ministry said.

Trump's administration has been working with the political leadership of both Japan and South Korea in advance of his summit with Kim, as they work to help achieve the U.S. goal of convincing North Korea to abandon its nuclear weapons. North Korea has threatened to strike all three nations with nuclear weapons.

In remarks to reporters in the Oval Office ahead of a meeting with Austrian Chancellor Sebastian Kurz, Trump said he and Abe had compared notes on North Korea.

"I think we are very much on the same wavelength," Trump said.

Abe has said Japan is committed to normalizing diplomatic relations with North Korea and has pledged to work with China to resolve tensions on the peninsula.

The Japanese embassy in Washington did not immediately respond to requests for comment.

Abe has worked to maintain close ties with the United States under the Trump administration. The U.S. president said recently that Abe had sent him a copy of a letter nominating him for the Nobel Prize, a comment that set off a controversy in Japan, where some have accused Abe of excessively flattering Trump.

Abe has since declined to say whether he had nominated Trump for the peace prize, but Japanese media have cited anonymous Japanese government sources as saying Abe nominated Trump at the request of the White House.

Since then, two Norwegian lawmakers have said they too nominated Trump due to positive developments on the Korean peninsula.

© (c) Copyright Thomson Reuters 2019.

©2019 GPlusMedia Inc.

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They'll need to stock up on hamberder buns.

11 ( +13 / -2 )

Trump will be here in May; his vanity won't allow him to pass up the attention.

5 ( +9 / -4 )

or it couid actually have nothing to do with anything other than his job actually requiring it.

-9 ( +2 / -11 )

My sympathy to all of Japan having to put up with a visit from the worlds most self centered idiot.

Truly a depressing time for Japan.

10 ( +14 / -4 )

Japanese are much too polite, but they should bring over the "Man-Baby" balloon and fly it over downtown Tokyo, so Donnie can see it on his way in from Haneda....

5 ( +8 / -3 )

Welcome to Japan, President Trump!

-10 ( +2 / -12 )

Welcome to Japan, President Trump!

No he isn't.

I hope the baby blimp will be sent over.

5 ( +9 / -4 )

So happy to see Trump coming to Japan. Best president ever!

-9 ( +3 / -12 )

He’s buying a casino here?

1 ( +3 / -2 )

Welcome to Japan, President Trump!

I don't know.  When Obama came to Japan, his wife came later to collect money under women empowerment, when Trump came for the first time, his daughter came later to collect money for women empowerment.

-6 ( +0 / -6 )

BlacklabelToday 08:30 am JST

or it couid actually have nothing to do with anything other than his job actually requiring it.

I'm not sure if there is a "requirement" as you put it, necessitating he must have an official State Visit to be the First foreign leader to meet the newly annointed royal couple.

One could easily be cynical and suggest that it's more about image than substance. Trump needs a foreign leader friend to show the world, "See I got a mate" and Abe needs Trump to show the world, "See I got a master".

And the foto-op will be astounding. I'm already cooling the tinnies and warming the set for a memorable Golden May, a comedy bonanza is coming.

3 ( +5 / -2 )

No he isn't.

The govt and people say otherwise.

Trump stopped Kim from firing missiles over Japan and bringing peace to the region.

-7 ( +2 / -9 )

Great news, welcome Trump!! I really hope PM Abe takes Trump to Sushi Jiro. Trump will surely find it very delicious. Then, they can both go out for chocolate cake.

0 ( +6 / -6 )

He will be in JAIL long before May comes around.

2 ( +4 / -2 )

Welcome to Japan, President Trump!

No he isn't.

Perhaps cleo likes North Korean missiles flying over her head?

He will be in JAIL long before May comes around.

So, some time in March then, mukashi?

-8 ( +0 / -8 )

Welcome to Japan, President Trump!

-3 ( +3 / -6 )

As one who is anti-Trump I can understand most of these comments. I do wish we had an President who was not an embarrassment. But that Trump as POTUS was invited to meet the current Emperor Akihito before, and now may meet the new incoming Emperor Naruhito not only solidifies the importance of the US-JPN alliance, but also sends a message to some idiot SK lawmakers who are trying to drag the Emperor into SK's anti-JPN fanaticism nonsense.

2 ( +7 / -5 )

If Trump comes, Abe will be feeling wonderful.

-8 ( +1 / -9 )

Four more years!

-8 ( +0 / -8 )

Imagine peace coming to the Korean Peninsula!

What a positive legacy for future generations of Koreans to cherish.

All aided by President Trump,a statesman with the courage and ability to get things done.....

-7 ( +1 / -8 )

kurisupisuToday  07:08 am JST

Imagine peace coming to the Korean Peninsula!

Right. I imagined it. Now what?

Ganbare Japan!Feb. 21  09:52 pm JST

Great news, welcome Trump!! I really hope PM Abe takes Trump to Sushi Jiro. Trump will surely find it very delicious. Then, they can both go out for chocolate cake.

Maybe they'll let you tag along and lick the plates clean for them. Or if there's anything Trump doesn't care for he can just throw it for you to run and catch in your mouth.

Really... this kind of comment is very, very hard to take seriously. I hope you are actually a troll or being paid to write this kind of stuff as part of some deeply flawed, misguided propaganda exercise because the idea of anyone being so sycophantic is a bit sad and disturbing.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

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