Prime Minister Shinzo Abe is considering visiting the United States for talks with U.S. President Donald Trump in early June before heading to Canada for a Group of Seven summit, government sources said Saturday.
Arrangements are under way for Abe to visit Washington on June 6 and 7, the sources said, ahead of the G-7 leaders meeting from June 8 to 9 in the Canadian city of Charlevoix.
At the meeting, Abe hopes to strengthen coordination with the United States in resolving the abduction issue, one of his priority issues.
Abe apparently hopes to get a clearer picture of what Trump’s intentions are amid the uncertainty surrounding the first U.S.-North Korean summit, which was scheduled to be held in Singapore on June 12.
On Thursday, Trump announced he was canceling the summit with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un. But the following day, he said the two countries were holding “very productive” talks and that the meeting could still take place on June 12.
The Japanese government has already conveyed its desire to schedule a meeting with Trump, and is awaiting a response, the sources said.
An Abe-Trump meet could also be set up during the G-7 summit in Canada, but time constraints make that more difficult.
Abe, who last met with Trump in April in Florida, is tilting toward meeting with Trump in Washington ahead of the G-7 summit so the leaders have more time to coordinate a bilateral approach to North Korea.