PRIME MINISTER ABE: (Via interpreter) I’d like to offer my heartfelt welcome to Secretary Tillerson to Japan. And I am very delighted to see you, Secretary, here in Japan as the very first country for your visit to this region of Asia. It really is a reflection of the significance you, Secretary Tillerson, put on the Japan-U.S. alliance and I very much appreciate it. Indeed, when I visited your country in February, I received so much warm hospitality and welcome from your country, and I had a very, very productive meeting with President Trump. Please send my regards and my message that I really enjoyed playing golf with him as well.
During the meeting with the President, during my visit to the United States with Donald Trump, with President Trump, indeed, North Korea fired a missile during that time, and indeed, President Trump stood beside me and said, as a strong message, that he stands with Japan 100 percent. Unfortunately, North Korea continues to go after provocative actions in this region, and indeed, your visit here to Japan is very, very timely when we see such a very severe security environment here in the Asia Pacific region.
Indeed, I do believe that you had a very productive meeting with Foreign Minister Kishida just now, and I do hope that your visit, after my meeting with you, will really contribute to the strengthening of our Japan-U.S. alliance.
Secretary, I understand that you have tremendous and rich global experience with your previous position as a CEO of a major company, and I’m confident that you will achieve huge success as Secretary of State with your global vision and deep insights that you have brought (inaudible).
SECRETARY TILLERSON: Well, Mr. Prime Minister, thank you for those very kind words and thank you for taking the time for me to see you and for us to meet. It was very important to me to make this my first stop in Asia – Tokyo – where we have the opportunity to build on the important summit between yourself and President Trump, which gave important guidance to both of our countries about how to continue to strengthen this most important alliance between us.
I’ve now had three very productive meetings with Foreign Minister Kishida, including a very comprehensive and thorough meeting today where we discussed a number of issues. I look forward to sharing with you some of those successes, in particular to talk further and exchange views on how to respond to these provocations and threats presented by North Korea.
The U.S.-Japan alliance represents the cornerstone for stability in Northeast Asia and the Asia Pacific because of our shared values, our shared commitment to the rule of law, our shared commitment to countries following international norms, and we look forward to strengthening that alliance further.
So thank you again for allowing me to come see you.