Trump turns to trade, economy in Tokyo


"Some people say my rhetoric is very strong but look what has happened with very weak rhetoric in last 25 years", said Trump, who stood with Japanese Prime Minister Abe at a news conference and stated that North Korea imperiled "international peace and stability". "So we will have to negotiate and we will do this in a friendly way", added the president.

Trump is on the first stop of a five-nation swing through Asia where he plans to push his message of fair trade and freedom in the region backed by a strong United States military presence.

Their relationship got off to a "rocky start", Mr Trump said. So trade is another big issue on the president's mind.

During his campaign, Trump suggested Japan should acquire its own nuclear weapons to defend itself, hinted the USA might not come to the nation's defense, and accused Japan of "killing us" on trade.

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Trump and Abe repeatedly touted their bond over two days that included a round of golf, a hamburger with American beef and a couples' dinner at a teppanyaki restaurant.

One of the divers, 57-year-old Miaki Okumura, told reporters after the two VIPs left the shop: "I was asked how deep the waters we dive are, and how long I can hold my breath". NPR's Scott Horsley is traveling with the president, and he joins us now. Three U.S. aircraft carrier strike groups have not exercised together in the region since 2007. Even as the social media uproar over his "inappropriate" way of feeding fish is barely over, he has managed to upset his host country, Japan, again.

The fact that Trump is willing to go after USA allies like South Korea - even at a time of crisis on the Korean Peninsula - does and should have the region anxious. -China ties that seems to have already begun. Flying from Hawaii, his first stop is Japan, before visiting South Korea, China, Vietnam and the Philippines. This can not last. China can not "deliver" a North Korean climbdown and will be unwilling to take the kind of heightened steps (like cutting off all energy shipments) that would risk North Korean escalation or implosion. The president's also going to be speaking to the National Assembly, where he will be urging all countries to do more to put the brakes on North Korean leader Kim Jong Un.

President Donald Trump, center, and Shinzo Abe, Japan's prime minister, walk past an honor guard at Akasaka Palace in Tokyo, Japan, on Monday. Combined with his newfound domestic strength, Abe has a historic opportunity to balance his foreign policy by globalizing the U.S. -Japan alliance in such a way that benefits his own priorities moving forward.

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But in Japan, where grieving relatives of the abducted have become a symbol of heartbreak on the scale of American POW families, the government insists many more were taken - and that some may still be alive. Japanese companies now employ around 850,000 United States workers - a number Trump is hoping to grow - with carmakers like Toyota and Honda already having sizable plants in the US.

HORSLEY: Yeah, you're talking there about the Trans-Pacific Partnership.

HORSLEY: That's an argument Trump has been making since the 1980s.

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