US VP Pence arrives in Japan to focus on trade

Miranda GreerApr 20, 2017

U.S. Vice President Mike Pence, center left, waves with his wife Karen, center right, and daughters Audrey, top left, and Charlotte, top right, on their arrival at U.S. Navy's Atsugi air facility in Ayase, southwest of Tokyo, .

Sadayuki Sakakibara, chairman of Japan's largest business lobby Keidanren, described a meeting Pence held with business leaders before the speech as "truly meaningful".

(AP Photo/Ahn Young-joon, Pool).

According to a report from South Korea's Yonhap news agency, the USA and South Korea have agreed to an early activation of the Alabama-built Terminal High Altitude Area Defense System (THAAD).

Pence said Trump was hopeful China would use its influence in the region to pressure the North to abandon its weapons program.

Trump campaigned on an "America First" pledge, promising to overhaul trade agreements that he said hurt U.S.jobs.

"I bring greetings this morning from your commander-in-chief, President Donald Trump", he said.

Speaking aboard the aircraft carrier USS Ronald Reagan on April 19, Pence said North Korea was "the most risky and urgent threat to peace and security in the Asia-Pacific" region.

U.S. Vice President Mike Pence is on board an American aircraft carrier stationed in Japan amid heightened tension on the Korean Peninsula.

Pence repeated the message today during a visit to the USS Ronald Reagan at the U.S. Yokosuka naval base in Tokyo Bay. The Nimitz-class aircraft carrier is undergoing scheduled maintenance at its home port.

Pence arrived in Japan after visiting South Korea and leaves for Indonesia later on Wednesday.

A U.S. State Department official said Monday there is no hiccup in the ongoing deployment of a cutting-edge missile defense system in South Korea, dismissing concern about a political setback.

"Pence insisted that the U.S.is finished with the Trans-Pacific Partnership agreement".

The Trump administration plans to "reform" the existing deal to level the playing field, he told the room of executives, most of whom represented USA companies doing business in South Korea.

The White House hopes the talks in Tokyo will open doors in Japan for USA -made products and attract Japanese investment for infrastructure projects in the United States.

"All options are on the table", Pence said.

The U.S. trade deficit in goods with South Korea increased from $13.2 billion in 2011 to $27.7 billion past year, according to U.S. government figures.

"America has played a certain role in Asia since 1945. that role has in the end of the day been a stabilizer", Delury said.

"It's not all win for China", said Kim, pointing out Chinese consumers' demand for South Korean goods and how they have likely been affected by the curb and tourism ban. We're hopeful that they'll use the extraordinary levers that they have and relationship they have with North Korea to achieve that objective.

But the meetings could indicate how forcefully the USA will pressure Japan to further open its farm and automotive sectors.

The vice president also said the US would promote peaceful dialogue and defend human rights, "because the dignity and worth of every person is an eternal value of the United States".

What sort of economic relations should Japan build with the United States under President Donald Trump? U.S. Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross and Japanese counterpart Hiroshige Seko, the minister of economy, trade and industry, will meet for the next round of economic talks in June.

Trade balances are not determined by trade policy but are subject to the economic conditions and industrial structures of the nations involved.

US President Donald Trump has vowed to narrow big trade deficits with nations like China and Japan, saying he would boost USA manufacturing jobs.

Pence reassured Prime Minister Shinzo Abe on Tuesday that the US considers its alliance with Japan to be a cornerstone of security in the region.

Speaking aboard the USS Ronald Reagan aircraft-carrier at its home port of Yokosuka, Japan, Pence said the USA remained unwavering in the face of the threat posed by the North, which has conducted a series of missile and nuclear tests in defiance of United Nations sanctions. "We are with you 100 percent".

Abe said Japan hoped for peaceful dialogue with Pyongyang, "but at the same time, dialogue for the sake of dialogue is valueless and it is necessary for us to exercise pressure North Korea so that it comes forward and engages in this serious dialogue".

The April 18 inaugural session in Tokyo of the Japan-U.S.

The focus of his trip is expected to shift in Japan to trade.

South Korea will start mass-producing the missiles with two types of launch systems - inclined and vertical - next year after a seven-year project led by the Agency for Defense Development, according to the Defense Acquisition Program Administration. He says the Trump administration's plans to simplify the US tax code and cut the corporate tax rate will "benefit every business represented here today". A senior official at the White House blamed the error on miscommunication.

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