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Abe to urge Trump to maintain U.S. presence in Asia-Pacific region

Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe indicated Tuesday he will
urge U.S. President Donald Trump to maintain the U.S. military
presence in Japan and the surrounding region when the two leaders
meet in Washington next week.

"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 told a House of Councillors budgetary committee.

Abe said he wants to confirm in the Feb. 10 summit the
requirement under the bilateral security treaty for the United States
to "act to meet the common danger" if Japan comes under armed attack.

"Article 5 of the Japan-U.S. security treaty is highly
important," Abe said.

"I want this meeting to reaffirm and demonstrate to the world
that there is no change to the fundamental (fact) that in an
emergency, the U.S. military will come to our aid and we will jointly
respond," he said.

Abe indicated he will also appeal to Trump on the importance of
the broader role of the United States in the international community.
The talks will be the leaders' first face-to-face meeting since Trump
took office on Jan. 20.

Ahead of Abe's visit to Washington, he is expected to meet new
U.S. Defense Secretary James Mattis in Tokyo on Friday, according to
sources familiar with the matter.

Abe also said Tuesday he will fill Trump in on Japanese firms'
contribution to the U.S. economy, "refuting what should be refuted"
about the U.S. president's criticisms of Japanese automakers.

He cited a figure of around 1 million jobs created directly or
indirectly through Japanese automakers' activities in the United
States.

While he was president-elect, Trump threatened to impose a "big
border tax" on Toyota Motor Corp. if Japan's top automaker proceeds
with a plan to build a new plant in Mexico to produce Corolla cars
for the U.S. market.

Abe and Toyota Motor President Akio Toyoda are planning to meet
on Friday, according to a Japanese government source. (Jan. 31)