Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe described US president-elect Donald Trump as a “trustworthy leader” after they met on Thursday.
Abe told reporters after the hastily arranged 90-minute meeting at Trump Tower in Manhattan: “The talks made me feel sure that we can build a relationship of trust.”
He did not disclose specifics because the conversation was unofficial.
Photo: AFP / CABINET SECRETARIAT
“Alliances cannot function without trust. I am now confident that president-elect Trump is a trustworthy leader,” Abe said, describing the talks as “candid” and held in a “warm atmosphere.”
Abe gave Trump a golf driver and received golf-wear in return, Japanese officials said.
Photographs taken inside the ornate meeting room at Trump Tower showed Abe accompanied only by an interpreter and Trump by his daughter Ivanka, her husband and Trump adviser Jared Kushner, and retired US Army lieutenant general Michael Flynn, whom a senior Trump official on Thursday said had been offered the national security adviser position.
Abe said he had agreed to meet again with Trump “at a convenient time to cover a wider area in greater depth.”
It was unclear whether that would happen before Trump’s inauguration on Jan. 20.
Trump official Kellyanne Conway told CBS earlier on Thursday that “any deeper conversations about policy and the relationship between Japan and the United States will have to wait until after the inauguration.”
In Tokyo, Ivanka Trump’s presence drew attention, particularly after tabloids reported that Donald Trump planned to appoint her as US ambassador to Tokyo.
“It’s quite unusual to see a family member attending the first encounter between two leaders, even if it’s informal,” said Yoshinobu Yamamoto, a professor at the University of Niigata Prefecture. “It indicates that she would be playing some important role in the Trump administration, but it’s no surprise to see her there, as she has already been involved in politics.”
“Anyway, that’s the Trump way,” Yamamoto said.
Ivanka Trump is a key player in her father’s business empire and has her own fashion label and jewelery line.
Some said her presence at the meeting potentially blurred the line between business and politics.
“Clearly she’s using her political position for family business,” a Japanese-language tweet said.
Ivanka Trump became embroiled in a mini-scandal this week after her jewelery company issued a message promoting the US$10,000 gold bracelet she wore during her father’s first television interview as president-elect on Sunday, raising questions of potential conflicts of interest.
BLUE WAVE: The KMT’s Chiang Wan-an defeated the DPP’s Chen Shih-chung and is to become Taipei mayor, while President Tsai Ing-wen stepped down as DPP chairperson after many of the party’s candidates, handpicked by the leadership, performed poorly The Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) yesterday flipped key mayoral seats in Taipei, Taoyuan and Keelung, and won control of 13 out of 22 cities and counties in the nine-in-one local elections. President Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) last night resigned as Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) chairperson over a poor showing by the party’s candidates, who were handpicked by the DPP leadership rather than chosen through primaries. The Taiwan People’s Party (TPP) won its first high-profile race with Hsinchu mayoral candidate Ann Kao (高虹安) defeating Shen Hui-hung (沈慧虹) of the DPP with 45.02 percent of the vote to Shen’s 35.68 percent. Voters were choosing more than
CAUTION: Wearing a mask in crowded places and for people with chronic illnesses or allergies can help prevent COVID-19 and other infectious diseases, the CECC said The mask mandate for outdoor settings is to lifted on Thursday, and the weekly cap on international inbound travelers is to be removed on Dec. 10, the Central Epidemic Command Center (CECC) said at its regular news conference yesterday. The center also announced that starting from Friday, children aged five to 11 can receive a COVID-19 vaccine booster, and that rules for visiting hospital patients are to be partially eased from Dec. 10. While wearing a mask will no longer be mandatory outdoors, Deputy Minister of Health and Welfare Victor Wang (王必勝) reminded the public that it would still be required
ANALYSIS: The local elections showed that the KMT is a competitive player, but needs to work at changing its image regarding China, experts said The nine-in-one local election results would bolster the Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT), but are unlikely to have a major effect on the 2024 presidential election, when cross-strait issues are back in focus, political commentators said. In Saturday’s elections, the KMT won 13 of the 21 cities and counties up for grabs, including four of the country’s six biggest metropolitan areas, where nearly 70 percent of the population lives. The Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) lost three of the seven cities and counties it held, although it gained Penghu County. Its poor results prompted President Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) to announce her resignation as party
DEPARTMENT OF DEFENSE: China might impose a blockade, conduct limited force operations, use an air and missile campaign, or resort to an invasion, the report said The US Department of Defense has identified four possible military courses of action that China could take against Taiwan, but did not offer any guess on when Beijing might be ready to act. In an annual report to the US Congress released on Tuesday titled Military and Security Developments Involving the People’s Republic of China 2022, the department gave a broad overview of China’s military capabilities, strategy, ambitions and intentions. The report devoted significant space to developments related to Taiwan, against which it said China had intensified diplomatic, economic, political and military pressure last year. For example, the Chinese People’s Liberation Army (PLA)