Shinzo Abe met the United States President Barack Obama on Friday, at the White House Oval Office, on his first trip to Washington since taking office in December. During the meeting, Abe said “I am back and so is Japan” and vowed to revive the world’s third biggest economy.
Abe made tempered remarks regarding Japan’s relations with China over the Senkaku Islands. He said he has no desire to amplify the territorial conflict between Tokyo and Beijing regarding the control of the islands in the East China Sea.
“No nation should make any miscalculation about firmness of our resolve. At the same time, I have absolutely no intention to climb up the escalation ladder,” Abe said, adding that Tokyo would handle the islands issue “in a calm manner.”
“We will continue to do so and we have always done so,” he said, according to the international press.
Abe said he and Obama “agreed that we have to work together to maintain the freedom of the seas and also that we would have to create a region which is governed based not on force but based on an international law.”
Regarding Japan’s development, Abe vowed to put the country’s economy back on track with a mix of hyper-easy monetary policy, big spending, and structural reform. “Japan is not, and will never be, a tier-two country,” Abe said. “So today … I make a pledge. I will bring back a strong Japan, strong enough to do even more good for the betterment of the world.”
Abe promised his recipe would be good for the United States, China and other trading partners. “Soon, Japan will export more, but it will import more as well. The United States will be the first to benefit, followed by China, India, Indonesia and so on,” he said.
As for Japan’s relations with North Korea, Abe repeated that the country would not provide any aid for North Korea unless it abandoned its nuclear and missile programs.