TOKYO – The National Security Advisor of the United States, John Bolton, met with Japanese authorities on Friday to lay the ground for the forthcoming meetings between the leaders of the two countries during US President Donald Trump’s trip to Japan, official sources said.
Bolton met with Prime Minister Shinzo Abe in Tokyo in the run up to Trump’s four-day state visit that begins Saturday.
Trump will become the first foreign leader to be received by new Emperor Naruhito who took the throne on May 1.
The US president will also hold a series of formal and informal meetings with Abe on Sunday, Monday and Tuesday, during which they will – according to Japanese officials – discuss issues pertaining to denuclearization of the Korean peninsula.
Bolton discussed the denuclearization issue with Abe during their meeting in Tokyo on Friday, Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga told reporters, but refused to provide any details.
Bolton termed Trump’s forthcoming visit as historic and hoped for a productive outcome of the talks.
“President Trump is deeply honored to be the first visitor of state to meet the new emperor,” Bolton told reporters.
Official sources told Kyodo news agency that the US NSA’s interactions with the Japanese authorities also included the fresh tensions between Iran and the US, after the Islamic republic announced its decision to reduce its commitments under the nuclear treaty signed in 2015.
In this regard, Suga also denied a rumor about Abe was planning a trip to Iran in June in the wake of tensions between Washington and Tehran, a year after the US unilaterally pulled out of the 2015 nuclear deal.
However, he added that Japan has traditionally enjoyed friendly ties with Iran and continue to look for a solution aimed at regional peace and stability through dialog.