TOKYO -- U.S. President Donald Trump said Monday morning in Tokyo that trade between his country and Japan is not free and not reciprocal, stressing his intent to negotiate trade policies between the two countries.
Speaking to Japanese and American business leaders at the U.S. ambassador's residence on his second day in Japan, Trump noted that the U.S. has suffered "massive trade deficits" with Japan for many years.
"We want free and reciprocal trade, but right now, our trade with Japan is not free and it's not reciprocal," he said. "But I know that it will be."
In particular, Trump noted the imbalance in the auto industry, saying there are no substantial automobile exports from the U.S. to Japan.
In his speech, the president clearly opposed the Trans-Pacific Partnership deal, from which Trump earlier withdrew the U.S. "TPP was not the right answer," he said. "We will have much bigger trade with the way we are doing it right now."
Top executives and country representatives from nearly 30 Japanese and U.S. corporations were invited to the morning gathering. Among those present were Hiroto Saikawa of Nissan Motor, Takahiro Hachigo of Honda Motor, Masayoshi Son of SoftBank Group and Hiroaki Nakanishi of Hitachi, as well as the regional heads of Boeing and Intel.
Bilateral trade will be one of the key topics when Trump meets with Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe at Japan's State Guest House from 1 p.m. The two leaders will also discuss other issues, including North Korea's nuclear and missile development.
Following the summit meeting, Trump and Abe will meet with families of Japanese abductees by North Korea to reaffirm their cooperation over the rogue state, after which they will hold a joint press conference.
Today's schedule also calls for Trump to meet with Japanese Emperor Akihito and Empress Michiko.
Later, the president and Abe will have a working lunch, followed by a dinner party in the evening.
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