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June 21 2018, 06:47 | Irvin Gilbert
Japanese PM Abe Faces Protests Amid Corruption Scandal
President Donald Trump, the host with the most, once again welcomes Japan's Prime Minister Shinzo Abe to Mar-a-Lago to renew their "leaders of the free world" vows.
Donald Trump's very first meeting with Chinese leader Xi Jinping a year ago at the USA president's private Florida club was a highly anticipated event-Trump had promised a "tough" discussion after accusing Beijing of cheating on trade.
Trump surprised Abe, and much of the world, when he announced that he would meet North Korean leader Kim Jong Un.
"While Japan and South Korea would like us to go back into TPP, I don't like the deal for the United States", Trump tweeted, following a dinner with Abe and their wives. The leaders and first ladies stopped briefly to talk to reporters.
"We want him to win a firm commitment that (Pyongyang) will return the victims to Japan", said Iizuka, whose sister Yaeko Taguchi has been recognized by the government as having been abducted by North Korea in 1978 at the age of 22.
The two-day Trump-Abe summit played out amid growing tensions between the two countries over North Korea and trade.
Japan's exports to the USA edged 0.2 percent higher in March from the year before to 1.4 trillion yen while its imports climbed 0.6 percent to 732.8 billion yen.
Before Tuesday's talks, Trump said that "Japan is buying a tremendous amount of military equipment from the USA".
The first lady is scheduled Wednesday to take Akie Abe to Whitehall, a Gilded Age mansion a few miles north of President Donald Trump's Mar-a-Lago resort. During remarks ahead of Wednesday's trade talks, Trump delivered a stern warning about unfair economic practices and vowed to stand up for American workers.
Abe's meetings with Trump may provide a brief respite from his problems at home and could even stem the slide in his popularity.
Abe said that Trump had promised to bring up the Japanese abductee issue in his meeting with Kim. The vast majority of goods enters North Korea from China. Five have been returned to Japan. However, it remains to be seen whether the U.S.
"We have been talking about them. And by using this strength, you have been effectively applying the overwhelming level of pressure against North Korea", Abe said.