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HOME  > Past issues  > 2017 November 8 - 14  > Trump presses Japan to buy more US weapons
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2017 November 8 - 14 [POLITICS]

Trump presses Japan to buy more US weapons

November 8, 2017
U.S. President Trump during the Japan-U.S. summit meeting on November 6 pressed Japan to buy more American arms, telling Prime Minister Abe Shinzo "large purchases are desirable". Abe in response accepted this request by saying, "Japan will enhance the quality and quantity of its defense capability."

Chief Cabinet Secretary Suga Yoshihide the next day said, "To fulfill the commitment to Japan's defense, it will be absolutely imperative," bolstering Abe's quick response in meeting the U.S. demand.

Japan's military budget has been hitting record highs for four consecutive years. This is because of an increase in the purchase of U.S.-made military gear based on the Foreign Military Sales (FMS) program, a U.S. program under which the U.S. can determine price and delivery time. Higher prices are charged to other countries compared to lower prices in the United States.

During the summit, PM Abe and President Trump also reaffirmed that the construction of a new U.S. base in Okinawa's Henoko district is "the only solution that avoids the continued use" of the U.S. Marine Corps Futenma base.

The focus of their summit discussion was on issues concerning North Korea, and the two leaders met with family members of Japanese victims abducted by North Korea. The two expressed their support to the families. However, at a joint news conference held after their meeting with the families, asked by the press what if the U.S. decides to resort to military action, Trump did not mention anything about a rescue of Japanese nationals left in North Korea. To Abe, a question about what efforts Japan would make to avoid an unintended military conflict was posed. However, he as well did not give a response, but just stated his understanding of the possible U.S. choice to use military options.

In addition, Abe and Trump agreed to proceed with commercial cooperation in the study of nuclear power generation and the building of more nuclear power stations around the world. The Japan-U.S. Strategic Energy Partnership gives top priority to the promotion of advanced nuclear power generation technologies that are safer and more proliferation resistant. Despite the inability of bringing the 2011 nuclear accident at TEPCO's Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant under control, the two countries seek to jointly market nuclear power technologies abroad.
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