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Akasaka Palace
Tokyo, Japan

3:02 P.M. JST

PRIME MINISTER ABE:  (As interpreted.)  On the 1st of May, His Imperial Majesty the Emperor acceded to the throne, and we now have the new era called Reiwa.  At the dawn of the new era, it is of utmost pleasure that I am able to welcome President Trump and Madam Melania as our first state guests in the era of Reiwa.  They are my dearest friends, for myself and for myself — for my wife.
With President Trump, we had the summit talk last month at White House, and we celebrated Melania’s birthday together, didn’t we?
Next month, he will be visiting Japan again in order to come to the G20 Osaka Summit.  Because of the peace and security legislation, U.S. and Japan have become an alliance where we can help one another.  The bond has become rock solid.
Because of the very close personal relationship with Donald, the bond of U.S.-Japan alliance has become unshakeable, the closest in the whole world.
In the new era of Reiwa, U.S. and Japan must lead for the peace and prosperity of the region and international community as the genuinely global partners.
This visit of President and Madam Trump to Japan is a golden opportunity to clearly show the unshakeable bond to the whole world and inside Japan as well.  I’d like to express my gratitude to the friendship of President Trump and Madam First Lady.
At the summit talk today, bearing in mind of the latest North Korean situation, we spent a good amount of time in better aligning our policies.  The positions of Japan and the United States in this regard are completely on the same page.  President Trump and Madam Melania continue to meet the family members of the abduction victims.  Just like two years ago, when they visited Japan, they encouraged and gave comfort to the members of the victims.
Toward the resolution of the most important abduction issue, at the earliest possible timing, is what I am hoping for and I’m determined that I have to face Chairman Kim Jong Un, myself, directly.  Without any conditions, I will meet with the Chairman, and I would like to have a discussion frankly, in complete candor.
President Trump has expressed strong support to my determination as such by saying that he would support me totally and would not spare any efforts in assisting me.  Continuously, we will have the close collaboration between the two countries.  We shall miss no opportunities and look toward the early resolution of the abduction issue.  We will act resolutely.
In today’s summit meeting, we welcomed the steady progress of U.S.-Japan cooperation, looking toward the creation of free and open Indo-Pacific, including the areas such as energy, digital, and infrastructure.
Going forward, we will walk hand in hand and promote the cooperation for the realization of this common vision of our two nations.  We will be promoting the idea forcefully.  With countries concerned — like Australia, India, ASEAN, UK, and France — we will fortify the cooperation toward the realization of a free and open Indo-Pacific.  We will enhance and expand our efforts.  We agreed on that.
Since President Trump came to the office, Japanese companies decided on new investment to the tune of $24 billion to the United States, thereby creating 45,000 new jobs.  Daring tax reform that President conducted — thanks to that, automotive and energy related to Japanese companies are making investments in Ohio, Pennsylvania, Michigan, Alabama, and Kentucky, and others.  They are — they have decided to make new investments.
Those contributing most in the U.S. economy are the Japanese companies.  It’s been only one month since the last summit talks.  In a short span of one month, Japanese companies increased their investment to the United States by $1 billion.  Under — with this vigorous investment appetite, Japanese companies are deciding to make investment to the United States one after another.  U.S.-Japan economic relationship is developing in a major way, in a modality of bringing in win-win situations.
Following the joint statement of September, last year, Minister Motegi and Ambassador Lighthizer, USTR, are proceeding with the discussion, and I welcome this discussion.
In today’s talks between myself and the President Trump, we should achieve early outcome based upon the trustful relationship between our two nations.  We shall accelerate the pace of discussion.  We agreed on that.
Next month, at G20 Osaka Summit, President Trump — I am going to welcome him again in Osaka.  Looking forward to it.  For the success of G20 Summit, U.S.-Japan cooperation is indispensable.  I will continue to collaborate closely with President Trump.
Yesterday, I was able to talk with President Trump on a variety of issues in a relaxed atmosphere, like the game of golf, watching sumo wrestling, as well as the dinner where our spouses joined.  Your friendship and trustful relationship was even more enhanced.
The exuberance of joy shown by the crowd that I witnessed in the stadium, as well as the frenzied excitement of the general public when President — when presidential cup was handed to Asanoyama, the champion — indeed, a new page was added to the prestigious history of sumo.  Donald, I thank you very much.
Tomorrow, together with President Trump, I will go to Yokosuka and visit our escort ship anchored in Yokosuka, and show the strong bond of U.S.-Japan alliance to the people in Japan and the world.
Lastly, once again, I would like to express my heartfelt gratitude to Donald and Madam Melania for honoring us with your visit to Japan as the first state guests of the new era of Reiwa.
Thank you.
Then, President Trump of the United States, the floor is yours.
PRESIDENT TRUMP:  Prime Minister Abe, the First Lady and I are profoundly honored to return to this very beautiful nation as Japan’s first state guests following the enthronement of His Majesty the Emperor.  On behalf of the United States, we want to thank the Imperial Family for this gracious invitation and warm welcome.  It was really wonderful.
Melania and I are thrilled to be back in the Land of the Rising Sun.  It is a true privilege to take part in the splendor of this historic moment and to witness an ancient Japanese tradition as you begin the new Imperial Era.  We look forward to seeing the new Emperor continue his father’s extraordinary legacy.
Yesterday, Melania and I were delighted to join you, Prime Minister, in attending a sumo tournament — I’ve always wanted to see a sumo tournament; so true — and they are bigger and stronger than I even thought — at your very impressive and new national arena, where I presented the first-ever U.S. President’s Cup to the Sumo Grand Champion.  That was something.
This morning, we participated in a magnificent welcome ceremony with Their Majesties the Emperor and Empress at the grand Imperial Palace.
Japan’s time-honored customs and exquisite culture fill us with a deep sense of admiration.  I want to thank all of the people of Japan for welcoming us to this week and sharing your beloved heritage.  It is truly an incredible heritage.
This visit has also been a chance for Prime Minister Abe and me to strengthen our close friendship and the friendship between our two nations.  The alliance between the United States and Japan is a cornerstone of stability and prosperity in the region and all around the world.
The Prime Minister and I continue our close consultation in pursuit of peace and security on the Korean Peninsula.  The essence of our approach is peace through strength.  And this is a strong alliance indeed.  The U.S.-Japan alliance is steadfast and ironclad.  We want peace and we want stability.  We continue to hope that Chairman Kim seizes the opportunity to transform his country through denuclearization.  It is a country with tremendous economic and other potential.
The United States also remains committed to the issue of abductions, which I know is a top priority for Prime Minister Abe.  Earlier today, I met for the second time with a group of Japanese families, who have suffered the unthinkable heartbreak of having their loved ones abducted by North Korea.  The United States will continue to support Japan’s efforts to bring these abductees home.
Our nations are also cooperating on a number of other vital security issues.  The United States supports Japan’s efforts to improve its defense capabilities, and in recent months, we have greatly expedited the sale of large amounts of defense equipment to Japan, made in the United States.  We make the best equipment in the world.
In 2018, Japan was one of the world’s top purchasers of American defense equipment, and it has just announced its intent to purchase 105 brand new F-35 stealth aircraft.  Stealth because, the fact is, you can’t see them.  This purchase would give Japan the largest F-35 fleet of any U.S. ally.
America and Japan’s close security ties are grounded in shared values.  Our armed forces train and serve together all around the world.  Tomorrow, I will visit American troops stationed alongside the Japanese Self-Defense Forces right here in Japan.
On behalf of all Americans, I want to thank the Japanese people for graciously hosting our service members and military families.
The United States and Japan are also working to improve our economic relationship based on the principles of fairness and reciprocity.  We are currently negotiating a bilateral trade agreement that would benefit both of our economies.  Our goal is to reduce our trade deficit with Japan, remove trade barriers, and barriers of all kinds, so that U.S. exports will really have a fair and very profound footing.
Just over one week ago, U.S. beef gained full access to Japanese markets for the first time since 2003.  We hope to have even more to announce on the trade very, very soon.
And, finally, today, I am pleased to confirm that Prime Minister Abe and I have agreed to dramatically expand our nations’ cooperation in human space exploration.  Japan will join our mission to send U.S. astronauts to space.  We’ll be going to the moon.  We’ll be going to Mars very soon.  It’s very exciting.  And from a military standpoint, there is nothing more important right now than space.
This is an exciting starting point for greater collaboration on many other things.
Mr. Prime Minister, our visit this week is a moving reminder of the strength of the U.S.-Japan alliance and the deep friendship between our people.  It is a profound honor to be in Japan at this important moment in your nation’s history.  For this new Imperial Era, your nation has chosen the name “Reiwa,” meaning “beautiful harmony.”
America shares this wonderful aspiration for the future, and I look forward to continuing our tremendous partnership as we work together to bring this noble vision to life.
Thank you very much.  Thank you.
Q    (Inaudible) from (inaudible) Newspaper.  I have a question to Prime Minister Abe on abduction.  Japan-Korea Summit meeting: Do you think that the problem would be resolved in one-time meeting with Chairman Kim?  Or do you have to go through plural number of meetings in order to seek solution?  By what timeframe would you like to realize the summit talk?  Is it going to happen by the end of this year?  In that sense — in that case, could there be tripartite discussion involving U.S. as well?

PRIME MINISTER ABE:  (As interpreted.)  Regarding the relationship with North Korea, first of all, I have to note the fact that President Trump cracked open the shell of this trust with Chairman Kim Jong Un; shared the bright future beyond the denuclearization, and urging North Korea to act.  It’s a new approach.  I’d like to pay tribute to his new approach.

Most important thing is resolution of abduction issue, and it means that I’m resolved that I have to directly see Chairman Kim face to face without attaching any conditions.  I meet him, and then, frankly, and I must have discussion in complete candor.

At the summit talk today, to my resolution as such, President Trump expressed that he will give all-out support.  He will spare no efforts in rendering assistance to my efforts.  It was a very strong support.

President Trump and family members of abducted victims had a meeting, and President Trump would look into the eyes of the family members directly.  And he was listening to the remarks very seriously.  We have to resolve this abduction issue.  This is the thought that I have, which was shared by President Trump.

Once again, looking toward the resolution of abduction issue, I’d like to pay tribute and gratitude to the lavish understanding and support.

Now, including the points that you asked on the topic of a summit talk between Japan and North Korea, as of now, there is no specific goal in sight.  But based upon the Japan-North Korea Pyongyang Declaration, we want to solve comprehensive issues — pending issues like abduction, nuclear missiles.  We must come to terms with the unfortunate past, and we must normalize the diplomatic relations.  This line is unchanged.  Abduction issue is the most important issue for Abe administration.  Family members of abductees have advanced in their age.

As the President of LDP, I have a certain term — your question sort of implied.  And also, a one-time meeting could resolve the issue?  You asked.  Irrespective of my term in office, I have to do everything I can, all-out efforts of myself, for the resolution of this issue.  As the Prime Minister, I have responsibility as such.

Going forward, I will discharge this responsibility.  And in order to do that as the Prime Minister, day in and day out, I will do my best, and all-out efforts I will endeavor.

MS. SANDERS:  The United States’ first question will go to Vivian Salama of the Wall Street Journal.

Q    Thanks, Sarah.  Mr. President and Prime Minister.  Mr. President, I hope you’ll indulge me with two questions since we’re far from home.  The first one is: So if Kim Jong Un is not violating his promise to you by firing small weapons, as you said in your tweet yesterday, what would you consider a violation exactly?

PRESIDENT TRUMP:  Well, first of all, let me say that I think that Kim Jong Un, or Chairman Kim, as some people say, is looking to create a nation that has great strength economically.  I think he’s very much — I talk to him a lot about it, and he’s very much into the fact that — he believes, like I do, that North Korea has tremendous economic potential like perhaps few other developing nations anywhere in the world.

And I think that he is looking to develop that way.  He knows that, with nuclear, that’s never going to happen.  Only bad can happen.  He understands that.  He is a very smart man.  He gets it well.

So I think that he is — he is going to try, at some point.  I’m in no rush at all.  The sanctions remain.  We have our hostages back.  We, as you know, are getting the remains — continuing to get the remains.  A lot of good things are happening.

And, very importantly, there’s been no nuclear testing for two years.  I looked at a chart the other day.  During the past administration, there were many numbers that were very high, like 10 and 12 and 18, having to do with missile launches and nuclear testing.  And for the last two years, on the bottom, it had zero and zero.

So, I am very happy with the way it’s going.  And intelligent people agree with me.

Q    You’re not bothered at all by the small missiles?

PRESIDENT TRUMP:  No, I’m not.  I am personally not.

Q    Okay.  Thank you.  One more question, Mr. President.  Last week, you declared that you won’t work with Democrats in Congress until they stop investigating you.  So how are you going to explain to your voters when it comes at the expense of some of the promises that you’ve made to them?

PRESIDENT TRUMP:  Well, there’s never been a President more transparent.  The Mueller report came out: no obstruction, no collusion.  No nothing.  It’s a beautiful report.

The Democrats cannot understand what happened.  They really thought they had some people on their side, because, as you know, the people doing the investigation were 18 extremely angry Democrats, many of whom worked for Hillary Clinton and supported Hillary Clinton.

And Bob Mueller, I guess you could say, he wasn’t a friend of mine, but he did something that was really the right thing to do.  They were very disappointed.  They can’t get over the fact that I never spoke to Russia, never dealt with Russia, having to do with the subject we’re talking about.

And I will say this: That without question, we have done a job like few Presidents have done.  The only thing you can say about me, that some people may not like, is that I’ve created one of the greatest economies anywhere in the world.  In fact, when I first met with, yesterday — with Prime Minister Abe, the first thing he did was congratulate me on the incredible economy that we have in the United States.

So, I think that we will work with them.  We have a USMCA.  We have a deal with Canada and Mexico that everybody wants, I think.  It’s all done.  And I think they probably want to be doing that.

As you know, Ambassador Lighthizer is here, right now.  That’s a deal that’s gotten universal praise.  Unions love it.  Farmers love it.  Manufacturers love it.  You won’t have companies leaving and going to Mexico and going to Canada and going like they were for many, many years.  It’s a great deal.  I would imagine that Nancy Pelosi will approve that.  I would think it would be very hard not to, but we’ll see.

But certainly, as things get approved I would love to sign them.  It’s only good for our country.  I’m only interested in what’s good for our country.  It’s very important.  Thank you very much.

Q    Thank you, Mr. President.  Prime Minister, I hope you’ll also indulge me with two questions, since I’m far from home.  Did you get any reassurances today from President Trump that he will not impose tariffs on cars or auto parts six months from now?
PRESIDENT TRUMP:  I want to hear this answer too.  (Laughter.)
PRIME MINISTER ABE:  (As interpreted.)  Well, last year, in September, between — President Trump and I agreed on joint statement regarding — including auto and auto parts.  Currently, based upon the joint statement of September, Minister Motegi and Ambassador Lighthizer are discussing and talking about this matter.
So we agreed to accelerate the talk as such, and that was the agreement I reached with President Trump.
Q    My second question?  I left my translator, so — (laughs.)
PRESIDENT TRUMP:  That’s about four.  (Laughter.)  I think probably that’s enough.
Q    Okay.
PRESIDENT TRUMP:  I think your compatriots will not be happy with another question.  All right?
Q    Okay.  All right.  Thank you very much.
PRESIDENT TRUMP:  Thank you very much.
PRIME MINISTER ABE:  (As interpreted.)  Once again, a question from Japanese media.  Please.
Q    (As interpreted.)  (Inaudible) from (inaudible) television.  I have a question to Prime Minister Abe about the U.S.-Japan trade agreement.  Before the election, there are some voices of anxiety expressed from some trade organizations.  Now, the tariff level — the maximum that you can have on tariff is at the same of TPP.  Is that unchanged?
Now, regarding the calendar: In the beginning of the talk, in August there could be a major statement, announcement.  Prime Minister, that was the comment of President Trump.  Do you agree with him?  And in today’s talk, what was the timeframe?  What was the scheduling of those matters?  Between U.S. and Japan, trade friction or trade debate is happening.  What was the outlook on that relationship?  As for Japan, is there any mitigating role that Japan can take?
PRIME MINISTER ABE:  (As interpreted.)  Two questions, I guess.  Last year, in September, President Trump and I agreed on the joint statement.  Based upon that, Minister Motegi and Ambassador Lighthizer, USTR, are vigorously conducting discussions and talks.  This time around, Minister Motegi and Ambassador Lighthizer — between them, I think a quite in-depth discussion was held.  That is, I am informed.
With President Trump, we agreed that — let us accelerate the talks between the ministers.  So we have joint statement, and that must be the grand premise upon which we must create win-win result, which would be beneficial to both nations.  That is my thinking.
Now, next point of question: U.S.-China trade negotiation.  I think that was the question.  Sino-U.S. relationship, respectively, they occupy number one and number one economic powerful position of the world.  Between the two countries, stable economic relationship is built.  That would benefit not only Japan but the Asian countries and to the whole world.  It’s very important that there be stable economic relationship.
With a view as such, I hope that, continuously, U.S. and China will go through dialogue in order to seek constructive solution of the problem.
Today, with the President, we discussed economic issues.  And the global economy was something that we also addressed.  There are a variety of challenges in the global economy we discussed in today’s talk.
PRESIDENT TRUMP:  I wanted to add, though, that — very importantly — I have nothing to do with TPP.  Okay?  Nothing to do.  I’m not bound by anything that anybody else signs with respect to the United States.  TPP would’ve destroyed our automobile industry and many of our manufacturers.  We are not involved in TPP.  So what other countries agreed to is not binding at all on the United States.
As far as China is concerned, they want to make a deal.  I think they probably wish they made the deal that they had on the table before they tried to renegotiate it.  They would like to make a deal.  We’re not ready to make a deal.  And we’re taking in tens of billions of dollars of tariffs, and that number could go up very, very substantially, very easily.
But I think, sometime in the future, China and the United States will absolutely have a great trade deal.  And we look forward to that.
Okay?  Thank you.
MS. SANDERS:  The United States’ second question goes to Jeff Mason of Reuters.
Q    Thank you, sir.  I’m going to follow Vivian’s lead and ask two questions, if I can.  First is a follow-up on trade.  Can you lay out specifically, Mr. President, what Japan needs to do to avoid auto tariffs?  And before you come back to the G20 in another month or so, do you expect talks with China to get back on track this year at all?
PRESIDENT TRUMP:  First of all, getting to the G20, I think that we are very much discussing different things with Japan.  We have an unbelievably large imbalance — as you know, trade imbalance — which has been there for many, many years; Japan having the big advantage.  They are brilliant businesspeople, brilliant negotiators, and put us in a very tough spot.  But I think we will have a deal with Japan.
Likewise, I think we will have a deal with China sometime into the future.  Many companies are leaving China right now because of the tariffs.  China is subsidizing a lot of industry because — you know, foolishly, some people said that the American taxpayer is paying the tariffs of China.  No, no, no — it’s not that way.  They’re paying a small percentage, but our country is taking in billions and billions of dollars.
Our farmers — out of all of that money, the tens of billions of dollars — we’re giving a relatively small percentage to our farmers, who have really been a focal point of what’s gone on with trade.  As you know, they’ve earmarked and they’ve gone after the farmer, thinking that if they hurt the farmer, I’m going to negotiate a bad deal for the rest of the country.
I’ll tell you, the American farmer — these are patriots.  These are great patriots.  They don’t want subsidy.  We’ve had meetings — and I’ve had meetings with 32, 35, 40 farmers at one time, numerous times.  And they don’t want subsidy.  I’ve told that to you before, Jeff.  They want a level playing field.  That’s all they want, because they’re better than anybody in the world.
And they’ve told me.  I said, “You know, I’m going to get you subsidy while China takes advantage of us and China takes advantage of you, by pinpointing you.”  They say, “We don’t want subsidies, sir.  All we want is a laying play- — really, a level playing field.”
The American farmer — these are great patriots.  They are unbelievable people.  And they’re with me, 100 percent.  I believe that we will have a very good deal with China sometime into the future, because I don’t believe that China can continue to pay these, really, hundreds of billions of dollars in tariffs.  I don’t believe they can do that.
You know, businesses are leaving China by the hundreds, by the thousands — going into areas that are non-tariffed, including the United States, by the way.  But they’re going to different parts of Asia — Vietnam; frankly, Japan.  But they’re going to a lot of places, but they’re also coming to the United States because people don’t want to pay the tariff.
And if you look, there is no tariff to pay.  All you have to do is move your company to the United States.  There is no 25 percent tariff.
But with all of that being said, I think that there’s a very good chance that the United States and China will have a very good trade deal.
Q    And, Mr. President, a follow-up on North Korea.  You tweeted about North Korea yesterday.  Do you believe that they violated U.N. resolutions with the short-range missile launch?  And does it give you pause at all to be appearing to side with a brutal dictator instead of with a fellow American — the former Vice President Joe Biden?
PRESIDENT TRUMP:  Well, Kim Jong Un made a statement that Joe Biden is a low-IQ individual.  He probably is, based on his record.  I think I agree with him on that.  But, at the same time, my people think it could have been a violation, as you know.  I view it differently.  I view it as a man — perhaps he wants to get attention, and perhaps not.  Who knows?  It doesn’t matter.
All I know is that there have been no nuclear tests.  There have been no ballistic missiles going out.  There have been no long-range missiles going out.  And I think that someday we’ll have a deal.  I’m not in a rush.  Tremendous sanctions being put on the country of North Korea.
And, again, Kim Jong Un understands the unbelievable economic potential that country has.  It’s located between Russia and China, on one side, and South Korea on the other.  And it’s all waterfront property.  It’s a great location, as we used to say in the real estate business.  And I think he sees that.
And I have to tell you — one other country — I really believe that Iran would like to make a deal.  And I think that’s very smart of them.  And I think that’s a possibility to happen also.
Q    But in terms of criticism that you’re sort of supporting a dictator instead of an American Vice President?
PRESIDENT TRUMP:  Well, when I look at what’s been done by our Vice President and the President, when I look at the horrible Iran deal that they made — look what happened since I terminated the Iran deal.  Look what has happened to Iran.
Iran, when I first came into office, was a terror.  They were fighting in many locations all over the Middle East.  They were behind every single major attack, whether it was Syria, whether it was Yemen, whether it was individual smaller areas, whether it was taking away oil from people.  They were involved with everything.
Now they’re pulling back because they’re got serious economic problems.  We have massive — as you know, massive sanctions and other things.  I mean, we just said the other day: steel, copper, different elements of what they used to sell.  The oil is essentially dried up.  And I’m not looking to hurt Iran at all.  I’m looking to have Iran say, “No nuclear weapons.”  We have enough problems in this world right now with nuclear weapons.  No nuclear weapons for Iran.
And I think we’ll make a deal.  I think Iran — again, I think Iran has tremendous economic potential.  And I look forward to letting them get back to the stage where they can show that.  I think Iran — I know so many people from Iran.  These are great people.  It has a chance to be a great country, with the same leadership.  We’re not looking for regime change.  I just want to make that clear.  We’re looking for no nuclear weapons.
If you look at the deal that Biden and President Obama signed, they would have access — free access — to nuclear weapons, where they wouldn’t even be in violation, in just a very short period of time.  What kind of a deal is that?
So we can’t have that.  Plus, there were many other things they did that were very bad.  So I don’t take sides as to who I’m in favor or who I’m not, but I can tell you that Joe Biden was a disaster.  His administration, with President Obama, they were basically a disaster when it came to so many things, whether it was economy, whether it was military, defense.  No matter what it was, they had a lot problems.  So, I’m not a fan.
Q    One question for the Prime Minister, sir.  Do you share President Trump’s optimism about North Korea and his position about the recent missile launches?

And also, could you tell us — and perhaps tell us what you told the President — what you expect or would like to achieve if you travel to Iran and hold talks with Iran?

PRIME MINISTER ABE:  (As interpreted.)  President Trump conducted summit meeting with North Korea together with Chairman Kim.  He agreed on the denuclearization of Korean Peninsula and he signed the document.  There was great significance in that.

He cracked open the shell of distrust so that a future — bright future — can be shared and urge North Korea to act accordingly.  This was a new approach, which I welcome.  Of course, North Korean denuclearization — for many years, this was not achieved.  But precisely because it was not achieved, difficult as it is, President Trump just said that he will make a challenge with a new approach.

So we are neighbor to North Korea.  We are most threatened among countries.  So, as the Prime Minister of such a country, such act of a Prime Minister — of President Trump and policy, I have a trust in it, and I would like to support it.

In this context, the abduction issue is of paramount importance.  In Hanoi — at the summit talk in Hanoi, President Trump, on behalf of my thinking, he conveyed and communicated my thinking to Kim Jong Un.  And I, as well as the country of Japan, are thankful.

A moment ago, President Trump met with the family members of the abductees, and the family members were very appreciative of President Trump.  So his approach is something that everybody wants to have hope.  So that was the view of the families of abductees.

Now, the launching of the missiles this time: On the 9th of May, North Korea launched a short-range ballistic missile.  This is violating the Security Council resolution.  So my reaction is, as I said earlier on, it is of great regret.  But at the same time, between Kim Jong Un and President Trump, certain new approach was taken, and that is something that I would like pay tribute to.

In any event, denuclearization of Korean Peninsula is the goal.  So, U.S., Japan, South Korea, and Europe, and other countries will act in cooperation so that the U.S.-North Korean process would be supported.

Q    Iran?

PRIME MINISTER ABE:  (As interpreted.)  What about Iran?  There was a question about Iran.

Regarding Iran — regarding the JCPA, we have expressed our position at the appropriate timing.  Peace and stability of Middle East is very important for Japan and the United States, and also for the international community as a whole.  It’s very important.

In this context, in order to make contribution for the peace and stability of the region, we would like to discharge whatever we can do.  So whatever it is possible for Japan to do, we absolutely would like to do this going forward.  Between Japan and the United States, there should be close collaboration so that this tension surrounding Iran should be mitigated and alleviated, and it shouldn’t culminate in the armed conflict.

Thank you very much.


3:42 P.M. JST