President Trump urged Japanese business leaders to increase their investment in the United States, as he chided Japan for having a “substantial edge” on trade that negotiators were trying to even out in a bi-lateral deal.
President Trump arrived in Japan Saturday for a largely ceremonial state visit meant to showcase strong ties even though trade relations are problematical.
In the evening, the Tokyo Sky Tree tower was lit up red, white and blue in President Trump’s honor.
Shortly after arriving at the airport to a Red-carpet welcome, President Trump attended a reception at the residence of US Ambassador William Hagerty that the White House said included Japanese business executives from Toyota, Nissan, Honda, SoftBank and Rakuten.
President Trump told the company officials there had never been a better time to invest in the United States and repeated a complaint that the Federal Reserve’s policies had kept US economic growth from reaching its full potential.
With trade talks ongoing, President Trump said he wanted a deal to address the trade imbalance between the 2 countries.
“Japan has had a substantial edge for many, many years, but that’s OK, maybe that’s why you like us so much,” he said.
“With this deal we hope to address the trade imbalance, removing barriers to United States exports and ensure fairness and reciprocity in our relationship,” President Trump said.
Trade is likely to be addressed during a formal meeting Monday between President Trump and PM Abe, but even a partial trade agreement is not expected, said Trade Minister Toshimitsu Motegi after meeting his counterpart, US Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer, in Tokyo Saturday.
The President will become the 1st foreign leader to be received by new Japanese Emperor Naruhito since he inherited the throne earlier this month. He and Empress Masako will host an elaborate dinner for the Trumps Monday night.