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Trade war

Abe reaffirms to Trump that Japan is willing to buy American military equipment

US president has repeatedly asked Tokyo to boost imports

U.S. President Donald Trump greets Japan's Prime Minister Shinzo Abe during a bilateral meeting in New York on Sept. 26.   © Reuters

TOKYO -- Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe reaffirmed to U.S. President Donald Trump that Japan is willing to buy American military equipment during their meeting on Sept. 26, Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga said Friday.

During a news conference, Suga quoted Abe as telling Trump, "To deal with the difficult security situations, it is important for us to continue to introduce sophisticated equipment, including American equipment, so that Japan's defense capability can be strengthened."

After the meeting with Abe on Wednesday, Trump told reporters that the two leaders agreed to start trade negotiations between the countries, something that Japan has been unwilling to do over the years.

Trump said during the meeting that he had also urged Japan to buy more imports from the U.S., citing that country's trade deficit with Japan. The idea of spending large sums of money to purchase American military equipment was also raised in the meeting, he added.

The Japanese briefing on the Abe-Trump summit does not refer to discussions about military equipment between the leaders, nor do they appear in the joint statement released by the two governments.

It has been learned that Trump's request for Japan to buy more American imports triggered the defense equipment topic in the meeting, along with the start of the trade negotiations.

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