WASHINGTON, (Xinhua) — Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe said Thursday he had a “very candid discussion” with U.S. President-elect Donald Trump, as he was seeking clarity on Trump’s campaign rhetoric seen as hostile towards Japan.
Saying his 90-minute meeting with Trump at Trump Tower in New York was held in a “warm atmosphere”, Abe told reporters that both men agreed to meet again “at a convenient time to cover a wider area in greater depth.” But he refused to provide any details of the discussion.
Trump campaign manager Kellyanne Conway told CBS News earlier Thursday that Trump’s meeting with Abe was “much more informal” in nature, given the fact that U.S. President Barack Obama would not leave office till Jan. 20, 2017.
“Any deeper conversations about policy and the relationship between Japan and the United States will have to wait until after the inauguration,” said Conway.
The meeting was Trump’s first in-person meeting with a foreign leader since he defeated Democrat Hillary Clinton last week.
During his presidential campaign, Trump questioned several crucial components of U.S.-Japanese relations, opposing the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) trade deal and once suggesting that Japan should acquire its own nuclear weapons, among others.
Trump also pledged to demand higher payments from allies, including Japan, for them to keep U.S. troops on their soil or face possible withdrawal of U.S. forces.