Japan PM to visit USA in April for talks with Trump

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Among the topics of the April 17-18 series of meetings: Trade and Trump's planned meeting with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un.

Now, Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe is set to meet Trump again in the U.S. on April 17-18 to discuss ways on keeping the pressure on North Korea, the menace in East Asia which has kept all the regional powers anxious with its nuclear ambitions. And when Trump first had Abe to his Mar-a-Lago club last February, South African pro golfer Ernie Els joined a round of golf. In Trump's recent imposition of tariffs on steel and aluminium imports, Japan was not given any exemption even if it is one of Washington's top allies.

If Trump raises the issue of a free trade agreement between Japan and the United States, Abe might be pressured to make concessions, Japanese newspaper Asahi Shimbun reported.

Suga added that Japan has been conveying its concerns about the tariffs to U.S. officials. The victims were kidnapped for a variety of purposes, including teaching Japanese to North Korea spies.

"When you play golf not just once but two times, the person must be your favorite guy", Abe said as he toasted Trump during a state banquet in Japan.

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North Korea appears to be "working hard to get ready for the next nuclear test", Kono said in a lecture in Kochi city, referring to soil removal from the tunnel at the nuclear test site where past tests were conducted.

Abe said he will travel to the US from April 17 to 20 and hold two days of talks with Trump at the president's Mar-a-Lago Club in Florida to discuss North Korea and bilateral issues. Trump has dubbed the resort "the winter White House".

The last time Trump and Abe met at Mar-a-Lago early in the president's term a year ago, North Korea tested a ballistic missile during the summit.

Trump and Abe will also "explore ways to expand fair and reciprocal trade and investment ties between the United States and Japan, two of the world's wealthiest and most innovative economies", the New York Post quoted Sanders as saying.