US President Donald Trump announced Friday he may watch Japan's traditional sumo wrestling when he visits Tokyo at the end of May. Trump had emphasized the speed at which he expects the talks to move forward by saying that a deal could be signed by the time he comes to Japan in May.
The Trump administration considers a bilateral deal as a means to reducing the hefty USA trade deficit with Japan.
On Friday evening, Abe and Trump were scheduled to have a private dinner that would also be a birthday celebration for First Lady Melania Trump, who turned 49.
The two leaders agreed that Japan and the United States will aim to reach an agreement at an early date, based on what was discussed at the talks between Toshimitsu Motegi, minister for economic revitalization, and U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer, who were both present at the expanded meeting. "President Trump has consulted closely with Prime Minister Abe since the beginning of his presidency".
Abe says he has asked for "understanding and support" on an issue that is "very important" for Japan.
The meeting follows Thursday's summit between North Korean leader Kim Jong Un and President Vladimir Putin of Russian Federation.
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"We would like to proceed with the further negotiation that we are now having for that".
Washington has been pressing Japan to eliminate tariffs on USA agricultural products, while at the same time calling on Japanese automakers to cut back on exports in favour of boosting production at their plants in the United States. "I appreciate that Russian Federation and China are helping us".
Japan - the world's third largest economy - only reluctantly agreed to the talks with the U.S.as a way to stave off tariffs that Trump has threatened to impose on imported autos.
His remarks are apparently aimed at proceeding with the trade negotiations that will go into full swing in favor of Japan.
Abe apparently wants to reaffirm with Trump that their two countries will work together for the success of the G20 Summit in June.
"I don't want to talk about that now", the president said. "But it's moving along very nicely, we'll see what happens", Trump said. And the prime minister said, It's about 100 times bigger.
Crown Prince Naruhito is set to ascend to the throne that day, following the abdication of his father, Emperor Akihito, on Tuesday. He said Trump and the first lady would be the first state guests of the new era.