International

Donald Trump says he backs Japan's efforts to talk with Iran

U.S. President Donald Trump shakes hands with Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe prior to their working luncheon at the Akasaka guesthouse in Tokyo

U.S. President Donald Trump shakes hands with Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe prior to their working luncheon at the Akasaka guesthouse in Tokyo   | Photo Credit: REUTERS

The U.S. President says that he is open to having a dialogue with Iran and has sought to downplay military conflicts

President Donald Trump on Monday backed the Japanese Prime Minister’s interest in using his country’s good relations with Iran to help broker a possible dialogue between the U.S. and its nemesis in the Middle East.

Mr. Trump, who is on a four-day visit to Japan, said he’s open to having a dialogue with Iran and is seeking to downplay fears of military conflict. However, Iranians have said that they have no interest in communicating with the White House.

While the visit started with meeting Naruhito, Japan’s newly-throned emperor, it quickly gave way to deliberations over thorny global issues, including North Korea, trade tensions with his Japanese host and the escalating friction between the U.S. and Iran.

“I know that the Prime Minister and Japan have a very good relationship with Iran so we’ll see what happens,” the U.S. President said while meeting with Abe in Tokyo.

Mr. Trump has imposed tough new sanctions on Iran, which are crippling its economy. Late last week, he announced the deployment of 1,500 U.S. troops to the region amid the tensions. The U.S. earlier deployed an aircraft carrier and B-52 bombers to the Persian Gulf in response to the intelligence of Iranian threats to U.S. interests in the region.

Mr. Trump and Mr. Abe held talks after the U.S. President became the first world leader to meet Japan’s new emperor, Naruhito, who ascended the throne May 1. Naruhito took the throne after his father stepped down, the first abdication in Japan’s royal family in about two centuries.

However, it was Mr. Abe, not the emperor, who invited Mr. Trump, as a move meant to curry favor with him as he is threatening to impose potentially devastating tariffs on Japan’s auto industry.

The U.S. President has suggested that he will impose the levies if the U.S. can’t win concessions from Japan and the European Union. Japan’s trade surplus surged almost 18% in April to 723 billion yen ($6.6 billion).

Mr. Trump said he wants to get “the balance of trade ... straightened out rapidly.”

“I think we will be announcing some things probably in August that will be very good for both countries,” he added.

Speaking about nuclear tensions with North Korea, Mr. Trump also said that he had a good feeling that the nuclear standoff will be resolved. Earlier this month, North Korea had fired off a series of short-range missiles that alarmed U.S. allies in close proximity to North Korea. National Security Adviser John Bolton had deemed this as a violation of U.N. Security Council resolutions.

The President also met with the relatives of Japanese citizens who were abducted by North Korea in the 1970s and 1980s. He assured that the issue is a priority for Mr. Abe and is very much on his own mind.

“There isn’t a meeting that we have that he doesn’t bring up the abductees,” Mr. Trump said of Mr. Abe.

A letter from the Editor


Dear reader,

We have been keeping you up-to-date with information on the developments in India and the world that have a bearing on our health and wellbeing, our lives and livelihoods, during these difficult times. To enable wide dissemination of news that is in public interest, we have increased the number of articles that can be read free, and extended free trial periods. However, we have a request for those who can afford to subscribe: please do. As we fight disinformation and misinformation, and keep apace with the happenings, we need to commit greater resources to news gathering operations. We promise to deliver quality journalism that stays away from vested interest and political propaganda.

Support Quality Journalism
Recommended for you
This article is closed for comments.
Please Email the Editor

Printable version | Jun 5, 2020 4:17:04 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/international/donald-trump-says-he-backs-japans-efforts-to-talk-with-iran/article27260740.ece

Next Story