President Donald J. Trump commenced his trip to Asia with a visit to Japan that began on November 5 and will conclude tomorrow on November 7. During the visit, the President met with American and Japanese military service members, participated in bilateral meetings and social events with Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, met their Majesties the Emperor and Empress, engaged Japanese and American business leaders, and met with the families of Japanese citizens abducted by the North Korean regime. The President congratulated Prime Minister Abe on his recent electoral victory and reaffirmed his desire to continue working closely with Japan.
President Trump’s trip and summit meeting with Prime Minister Abe bolstered the United States-Japan Alliance; strengthened our shared resolve to maximize pressure on North Korea, including through trilateral cooperation with the Republic of Korea; boosted United States-Japan economic engagement; and aligned our strategic priorities toward a shared vision of a free and open Indo-Pacific. President Trump reaffirmed the unwavering commitment of the United States to Japan’s defense through the full range of U.S. military capabilities, both nuclear and conventional.
President Trump thanked Prime Minister Abe for his role in the international pressure campaign toward North Korea, noting that Japan has been at the forefront of efforts at the U.N. Security Council and worldwide to develop and apply measures to politically and economically isolate North Korea in response to its unlawful nuclear and missile development programs.
President Trump affirmed the importance of strengthening bilateral economic, trade, and investment ties. The President noted the importance of expanding trade and foreign direct investment between our two countries to strengthen economic growth and job creation. The President underscored his ongoing concern regarding the United States-Japan trade deficit in goods, which was $68.8 billion in 2016, and emphasized the importance of taking steps to address this matter and to achieve more balanced trade.
President Trump reaffirmed the unwavering support of the United States for Japan’s permanent membership on a reformed U.N. Security Council.
The President welcomed recent steps the United States and Japan have taken to strengthen their security, economic, scientific, and cultural relationship, which include the following:
- In light of regional strategic threats exemplified by the recent unlawful North Korean nuclear tests and two missile launches over Japan, President Trump underscored the commitment of the United States to provide highly sophisticated defensive equipment to Japan, particularly in the area of ballistic missile defense to ensure the readiness and effectiveness of the Japanese Self Defense Forces. The President also welcomed Japan’s efforts to expand its roles and augment its capabilities within the Alliance.
- President Trump and Prime Minister Abe reiterated their strong commitment to boost trilateral cooperation with the Republic of Korea in the face of the North Korean threat on anti-submarine warfare, ballistic missile defense, mine sweeping, and information sharing. The United States has already conducted joint exercises with Japan and the Republic of Korea in 2017. The two leaders announced new avenues for engagement to improve aviation and maritime interoperability and coordination.
- President Trump and Prime Minister Abe reaffirmed their commitment to the realignment of the United States forces in Japan, so United States forces maintain operational and deterrent capability, while mitigating the impact on local communities. The leaders reconfirmed that relocation of Marine Corps Air Station (MCAS) Futenma to Henokosaki is the only solution that avoids the continued use of MCAS Futenma and called for the steady implementation of the construction plan for the Futenma Replacement Facility (FRF), noting the adverse impact of further delays on the ability of the Alliance to provide for peace and security.
- President Trump and Prime Minister Abe reaffirmed their strong commitment to enhance United States-Japan cyber cooperation. The President emphasized North Korea’s increasingly disruptive activities in cyberspace, including the repeated targeting of government and military networks as well as networks of private entities and critical infrastructure. As the United States and Japan recognize the need for expanded cooperation, including with other allies and partners, President Trump and Prime Minister Abe endorsed strengthening United States-Japan coordination on cyber issues, including through the next rounds of the United States-Japan Cyber Dialogue and the United States-Japan-Republic of Korea Cyber Trilateral meeting.
- On the South China Sea, the President underscored the critical importance of the peaceful resolution of disputes, unimpeded lawful commerce, and respect for international law, including freedom of navigation and overflight and other lawful uses of the sea, and discussed shared concerns over militarization of South China Sea outposts.
- On October 16, 2017, the United States and Japan held the second round of the United States-Japan Economic Dialogue between Vice President Pence and Deputy Prime Minister Aso. President Trump and Prime Minister Abe discussed promoting balanced trade, including across the Indo-Pacific, by taking additional steps bilaterally to advance these objectives. Building on outcomes already achieved under the United States-Japan Economic Dialogue, President Trump recognized further steps taken by Japan in the areas of automotive standards and governmental financial incentives for motor vehicles, as well as efforts to strengthen the transparency of deliberations affecting the life sciences industry, as signs of continuing progress on bilateral trade issues. President Trump and Prime Minister Abe decided to accelerate engagement on trade in ways that expand the potential of the bilateral trade relationship.
- The President noted that Japanese companies have invested more than $400 billion in the United States, and Japanese investment in the United States is growing at 8.9 percent per year. United States subsidiaries of Japanese-owned firms employ more than 850,000 workers in the United States, nearly half in the manufacturing sector. Just last month, Denso, a Japanese automotive components manufacturer, announced a $1 billion investment at its Maryville, Tennessee location, which will create more than 1,000 jobs. Since January 2017, Japanese companies have announced investments expected to amount to more than $8.3 billion in over 100 projects in the United States that will create more than 17,000 jobs.
- President Trump and Prime Minister Abe affirmed that infrastructure projects in the Indo-Pacific should be consistent with market competition and transparency, responsible financing arrangements, open and fair market access, and high standards of good governance. President Trump took note of United States-Japan cooperation to support high-quality infrastructure development in third countries through fair and equal commercial partnerships and public-private collaboration. On November 7, the Overseas Private Investment Corporation will sign memoranda of understanding with its Japanese counterpart agencies, to establish a cooperative framework to provide finance, guarantees, or insurance for joint United States-Japan infrastructure investments in the Indo-Pacific region.
- President Trump and Prime Minister Abe launched the Japan-United States Strategic Energy Partnership within the framework of the United States-Japan Economic Dialogue. The United States and Japan believe open, competitive energy markets are the best way to ensure secure, reliable, and resilient energy supplies. They plan to cooperate on fostering the development and use of advanced energy technologies, encouraging an efficient, transparent global natural gas market, and promoting the development and integration of energy-related infrastructure. On November 6, the U.S. Trade and Development Agency signed a memorandum of cooperation to enhance collaboration with the Ministry of Economy, Trade, and Industry to build the capacity of third countries’ to select high quality energy infrastructure solutions.
- The two leaders took note of the long history of bilateral space cooperation and reaffirmed the strategic value of a multi-agency approach to strengthening cooperation in national security, commercial, and civil space activities. President Trump noted that the United States looks forward to continued strong cooperation with Japan, including when Tokyo hosts the second International Space Exploration Forum on March 3, 2018.
- The leaders took note of bilateral health cooperation and the memorandum of cooperation the United States and Japan signed this year to promote research and exchanges in health and biomedical sciences and develop cooperation in healthcare delivery. The leaders reiterated their commitment to build global capacity to prevent, detect, and respond to infectious disease threats, including under the Global Health Security Agenda.
- President Trump noted the memorandum of cooperation the United States and Japan signed this year to facilitate cooperation regarding the challenges associated with an aging population and housing market stability. This cooperation enables joint research on approaches to allow seniors to remain in their own homes and “age in place.”
- President Trump praised the strong United States-Japan people-to-people relations, including two new sister-city relationships between the cities of Birmingham, Alabama and Maebashi, Gunma Prefecture, and Chattanooga, Tennessee and Tono, Iwate Prefecture in 2017, bringing the total number of sister-city relationships to almost 450. Thirty-seven Japan-America Society chapters in the United States are sustained by business ties to Japan. The United States-Japan Fulbright Program, supported by the two governments, has been a cornerstone of cooperation for more than 60 years. Last year, Japanese students added $620 million to the United States economy.