Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe has left for his first summit talks with US President Donald Trump, scheduled for Friday in Washington.
He spoke to reporters before departing from Tokyo's Haneda Airport on Thursday evening.
Abe said he hoped the summit will send a clear message that the Japan-US alliance will become stronger and more resilient than ever.
Abe also said Japan and the US have always enjoyed win-win economic relations and that they will continue to develop that way, based on rules that are free and fair.
Japanese officials say Abe is hoping to build personal trust between himself and the new US leader.
Abe is hoping to use the summit to reaffirm the importance of the Japan-US alliance. He plans to convey Japan's resolve to keep working with the US for peace and stability of the Asian Pacific region and the world.
Trump has pulled the US out of the Trans-Pacific Partnership free trade agreement, and has indicated that he will seek a bilateral trade deal with Japan instead.
Prime Minister Shinzo Abe on Monday sought to deny allegations that he is linked to an Osaka-based ultranationalist kindergarten as the public outcry over the operator and its alleged efforts to indoctrinate children with xenophobia and pre-war militarism grows. (Japan Times)
A smoking ban that Japan's health ministry plans to impose on restaurants in the country with some exceptions will cover small "izakaya" eateries and "yakitori" skewered chicken restaurants, informed sources said Saturday. (Jiji)
Prime Minister Shinzo Abe said Friday that his wife Akie has resigned as honorary principal of a soon-to-open elementary school whose nationalist operator bought state-owned land at far below appraised value. (Kyodo)
Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu, at a parliamentary meeting on Wednesday, revealed a plan to deploy a new military division to the Kuril Islands, including four islands at the center of a dispute with Japan, this year, according to Russia's Interfax news agency and other sources. (Jiji)
Japan's Foreign Ministry has protested to South Korea over a video clip that calls the body of water between the Japanese archipelago and the Korean Peninsula the "East Sea" instead of the "Sea of Japan". (NHK)