Washington, May 23: The vision of a free and open Indo-Pacific that the United States and Japan share serves as the foundation for a global partnership that strengthens security, prosperity and order around the world, the White House has said.
In fact, the US-Japan alliance serves as the cornerstone of peace and security in the Indo-Pacific region, it said Wednesday, ahead of President Donald Trump’s scheduled Japan visit beginning May 25.
“The United States’ and Japan’s shared vision for a free and open Indo-Pacific serves as the foundation for a global partnership that strengthens security, prosperity, and a rules-based order around the world,” a senior administration official told reporters during a conference call.
Trump would be Japan’s first state guest following the enthronement of Emperor Naruhito on May 1. “This visit by the president comes at a historic moment in Japan and it demonstrates that the alliance between the United States and Japan has never been stronger,” the official said.
Trump is scheduled to arrive in Japan on Saturday night. He will meet Prime Minister Abe informally on Sunday and also join him at a sumo wrestling match.
“On Monday, the president will make a state call on Their Majesties, the Emperor and Empress, followed by bilateral meetings with Prime Minister Abe and his team,” he added.
That evening, the imperial family will host the President and the First Lady at a state banquet, the official said.
Speaking on the purpose of the visit, he said: “It is really to be state guests of Their Majesties. And that’s really the heart of the visit. It is a celebration of their new roles and this new era that’s been kicked off — the Reiwa era — and a chance to celebrate the alliance.”
This will be the second meeting of President Trump and Prime Minister Abe in the space of a month. The US president will also be going to Osaka for the G20 in late June where they would meet again.
“So three visits in both directions in a short amount of time is really emblematic of just how close the relationship is. President Trump and Prime Minister Abe have met or spoken more than 40 times since President Trump was elected. That is absolutely unprecedented,” the senior administration official said.
“Prime Minister Abe was the first world leader to meet President Trump. And now, President Trump is going to be the first world leader to meet with the new emperor. So they’ll have plenty of substance to discuss and some things to announce as well,” the senior administration official said. (PTI)