Abe to Ask Trump to Maintain US Military Presence in Asia-Pacific Region
Prime Minister of Japan Shinzo Abe said he would try to convince US President Donald Trump at their upcoming first meeting to retain US military presence in the Asia-Pacific region, including Japan.
TOKYO (Sputnik) — During his presidential campaign, Trump repeatedly threatened to cease US presence in Japan if the country fails to increase payments for the maintenance of US troops.
"I want to tell [Trump] that U.S. leadership and the U.S. presence are especially needed in the Asia-Pacific region and that it's necessary for the U.S. [to play] the role it has [played] until now," Abe said a House of Councillors budgetary committee, as quoted by the Kyodo news agency.
According to the news outlet, Trump and Abe are supposed to meet in Washington on February 10.
Earlier in the day, Japanese media reported citing it sources that newly appointed US Secretary of Defense James Mattis, scheduled to pay an official visit to Japan later in the week, would not demand an increase of payments for US military presence in Japan and South Korea.
Tokyo and Washington have close ties in the sphere of military and technical cooperation. The United States have a military contingent of some 54,000 servicemen deployed in the Asian country, within the framework of the US-Japan security treaty signed in 1951. The majority of US troops in Japan is deployed in the western Japanese prefecture of Okinawa.
The Japanese share in costs spent on US military presence in the Asian country exceeded 80 percent in 2015, according to the country's defense minister, Tomomi Inada.