Donald Trump invites Japan's PM Abe to Mar-a-Largo for weekend

Abe is clearly trying to get on the businessman president's good side, but he will try to do so while also "correcting" Trump's "misunderstandings" about Japan's trading practices.

Trump has also suggested that Japan is not paying enough for USA protection. The country may create 700,000 jobs in the U.S. Trump has criticized the lack of access to the Japanese auto market for US producers and has accused Tokyo of using monetary policy to devalue its currency.

Abe said last week that he would tell the president that Japanese companies "have contributed to improving the competitiveness and productivity of USA manufacturing industries".

Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga told a news conference on February 7, "It's extremely important (for the prime minister) to build a personal relationship of trust (with the president)", justifying Abe's golf diplomacy.

The strategy seems to be an update of Japan's playbook from the U.S. -Japan trade wars in the 1980s and 1990s, said Aurelia George Mulgan, a Japan expert at the Canberra campus of the University of New South Wales in Australia.

When President Donald Trump was on the campaign trail, one of his biggest promises was to create American jobs, vowing to stop companies from making jobs overseas.

In November, Mr Abe became the first foreign head of state to meet with Mr Trump after his election in an effort to strengthen ties between the two countries.

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Japanese display maker Sharp Corp may start building a $7 billion plant in the United States this year, a person with knowledge of the plan said on Wednesday. The United States and Japan, the world's largest and third-largest economies, were the two linchpins of the Trans-Pacific Partnership trade deal, which Trump scrapped immediately upon taking office. Still, the economic dialogue Abe will propose would serve to slow or stall free trade negotiations.

Asked if he would have a bet on the game, which is expected to be played at Trump's Mar-a-Lago private resort on Saturday, the US president replied: "I don't know".

Japan's desire to arrive with gifts appears to be an attempt to counter Trump's repeated criticisms of Japan's currency management and trade practices. "It's important for each of us to think that way", Abe said.

Abe will be eager for Trump to repeat assurances that his administration will adhere to Washington's commitment to defend disputed East China Sea islands under Japanese control but claimed also by China. A pledge to boost defense spending, however, could be contentious at home in view of Japan's huge public debt.

Trump and Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan agree in an overnight phone call to act jointly against Islamic State in the Syrian towns of al-Bab and Raqqa, Turkish sources say.

"We hope to have constructive talks in order to seek how we can forge a mutually win-win relationship", Suga said.

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