“President Trump is surprisingly a good listener though it may seem that he isn’t. He’s also very frank and open. But he’s very committed to his campaign pledges,” Abe told public broadcaster NHK in an interview on Monday.
During the interview, Abe spoke of his meetings in the US over the weekend with Trump, in which they discussed security issues such as Washington’s stance over the disputed Senkaku Islands in the East China Sea, a point of conflict and contention between Tokyo and Beijing.
Trump had previously suggested that Japan should pay more to maintain a US military presence in Japan.
But Abe said the US President did not mention the issue during their meeting.
“Defence Secretary Mattis visited Japan and said the Japanese and American cost-sharing model is an example for other nations to follow. I think that settled the issue. We were wondering whether President Trump would mention the matter, but he didn’t. Rather, he thanked Japan for the warm hospitality extended to the US Marine Corps,” the Prime Minister said.
He also discussed the North Korea’s latest missile test on Sunday, while he was still with President Trump at his resort in Florida.
“President (Barack) Obama was very cautious about using military force against North Korea, calling his stance ‘strategic patience’. I believe the Trump Administration is aiming to review the stance and seek a diplomatic solution, putting all options on the table,” Abe said.
The premier also believes that the Trump administration will renew its stance towards China and Russia.
“I think the US government is in the process of establishing its foreign policy against China. Right before our summit, President Trump talked for one hour over the phone with Chinese President Xi Jinping. The timing was very good for me. President Trump and I were able to discuss how to deal with China, taking into consideration what the leaders of the US and China talked about and various other factors.”
“I have also insisted that dialogue between the US and Russia is essential for resolving the issues of Syria, the Middle East, Iran and Ukraine.”
President Trump plans to hold a close dialogue with Russia,” Abe concluded.