U.S. President-elect Donald Trump and Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe wrapped up a hastily arranged meeting on Thursday that was intended to smooth relations following Trump’s campaign rhetoric that cast doubt on long-standing U.S. alliances.
The meeting, which lasted about 90 minutes, according to a Trump official, was the president-elect’s first face-to-face conversation with a foreign leader since his election on Nov. 8.
The two men met at Trump Tower in Manhattan.
Abe was expected to take questions from reporters following the meeting.
The high-level conversation came as Japan’s leadership was nervous about the future strength of an alliance that is core to Tokyo’s diplomacy and security.
Abe and other Asian leaders were alarmed at Trump’s pledge during his election campaign to make allies pay more for help from U.S. forces, his suggestion that Japan should acquire its own nuclear weapons and his staunch opposition to the Trans-Pacific Partnership trade deal.
(Additional reporting by Steve Holland in New York, Linda Sieg, Nobuhiro Kubo and William Mallard in Tokyo, and David Brunnstrom, Doina Chiacu, Matt Spetalnick and Susan Heavey in Washington; Writing by Roberta Rampton and Richard Cowan; Editing by Alistair Bell and Peter Cooney)