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Japan’s Abe to be First World Leader to Meet With Trump


Japan’s Prime Minister Shinzo Abe delivers a policy speech during a Diet session at the lower house of Parliament in Tokyo, Sept. 26, 2016.

Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe will become the first world leader to meet with U.S. President-elect Donald Trump.

The two plan to talk Thursday in New York with the exact time and place still to be announced.

Japan’s leader will likely seek reassurances that Trump remains committed to the U.S.-Japan security alliance when the two meet.

Abe was among the first world leaders to telephone congratulations to Trump after he won last week’s presidential election. According to a senior Japanese Cabinet official, Abe told Trump “a strong U.S.-Japan alliance is an indispensable presence that supports peace and stability in the Asia-Pacific region.”

Trump made harsh remarks about Japan and other Asian nations during the campaign, demanding they pay a bigger share of the defense bill in the Asia-Pacific area, including the cost of maintaining U.S. military bases in Japan.

Both Japan and South Korea pay considerable sums to support the U.S. bases, and note that it's also in America's strategic interest to deploy troops in the region.

Abe may also try to sway Trump on the Trans-Pacific Partnership, a 12-country trade agreement that the president-elect opposes.

Trump has blasted the TPP, which includes Japan and is backed by the Abe government.

Abe is in the United States on his way to the Asia-Pacific summit in Lima, Peru.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.