Pence says USA to expand military alliance with Japan

Trevor Jackson
April 20, 2017

North Korea skipped provocative acts on the founder's birthday, but there is still the possibility of a nuclear or missile test around the 85th anniversary of the KPA's founding which falls on April 25. The test was unsuccessful, with the device blowing up "almost immediately", according to US military officials.

Trump campaigned for office on an "America First" platform, saying he would boost US manufacturing jobs and shrink the country's trade deficit with countries like Japan.

One of Prime Minister Shinzo Abe's closest aides, chief cabinet secretary Yoshihide Suga, suggested that the Japanese government might try to breathe new life into the TPP, which was meant to encompass 12 Pacific Rim nations that comprise and covers 40 percent of the world economy.

Pence said after the meeting that Trump believes it is in America's interest to negotiate economic deals on a bilateral basis.

At a joint news conference with Mr Aso, Mr Pence said: "At some point in future there may be a decision made between our nations to take what we have learnt in this dialogue and commence formal negotiations for a free trade agreement".

Abe, right, and Pence shake hands at the prime minister's official residence in Tokyo, on April 18, 2017. It is his first trip to Asia as vice president.

In Japan, they said Pence's two main goals are to spur increased US access to Japanese markets and strengthen Japanese foreign investment.

Pence said the United States would press ahead with the Thaad deployment and added: "The better path would be for China to address the North Korean threat that is actually making such defensive measures necessary".

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Dialogue and consultation is the only way to resolve the Korean Peninsula issue, said Lu, reaffirming China's stance.

"Those who would challenge our resolve or readiness should know, we will defeat any attack and beat any use of conventional or nuclear weapons with an overwhelming and effective American response", Pence said to loud applause, reiterating that all options are on the table in dealing with Pyongyang.

We seek peace always as a country, as does Japan.

In talks with Aso, Pence was expected "to push for greater access to Japan's markets for U.S. companies, and for more Japanese investment in the U.S.", Anthony says.

But a number of thorny issues were shelved for the time being including the United States' hefty trade deficit with Japan in 2016, and Japan's highly-protectionist stance on imports, particularly regarding agriculture and automotive sectors.

But Trump has taken a more conciliatory tone since meeting with Abe in February at the president's Florida resort.

Trump has long said North Korea is China's problem to fix, urging Beijing to use its leverage as the main provider of food and energy for the impoverished North to bring the recalcitrant regime under control. "We better see that start happening pretty quickly here", Townsend said.

Other reports by TheDailyFarc

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