After two days of state functions and diplomacy, President Donald Trump visited the Japan Self-Defense Forces (JDSF) and the United States military base in Yokosuka, Kanagawa Prefecture, on the morning of Tuesday, May 28, to show his appreciation for the security alliance between Japan and the U.S.
Arriving by helicopter, President Trump and First Lady Melania were joined by Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and his wife Akie in standing on the deck of the Japanese destroyer J.S. Kaga. Shortly after 10.30 A.M. both Abe and Trump gave speeches, paying respect to the servicemen and women of both countries.
As in the first two days of Trump’s state visit, both leaders stressed the closeness of the Japan-U.S. partnership and personal relations between the two leaders
The purchase of 105 F-35 Lightning II fighter aircraft was among the topics of discussion during the May 27 press conference. President Trump described the sale as a great step forward and making Japan “the biggest owner of F-35 aircraft among U.S. allies.”
Speaking in front of both American troops and JDSF, Prime Minister Abe explained the importance of the security alliance: “Our mission is to realize a free and open Indo-Pacific, and to establish a foundation for regional peace and prosperity. As we gather here I believe that every one of us shares an unwavering determination to fulfill such a mission.”
Prime Minister Abe expressed hope for the future of the bilateral relationship, saying, “Japan will continue to play its role with unwavering commitment to further strengthening the Japan-U.S. alliance, which has become the international public good in this region.”
For his part, President Donald Trump focused on the theme of the previous two days, saying “The U.S.-Japan alliance has never been stronger.”
However, President Trump also took the time to wish the troops a Happy Memorial Day. The last Monday of May is a day of commemoration in the U.S. to remember the men and women who have fallen while serving their country as part of the U.S. forces.
President Trump also expressed his condolences for the victims in a stabbing attack in Kawasaki on the morning of Tuesday, May 28. A man stabbed at least 18 people who were waiting for the bus, before apparently fatally cutting himself. The President said, “All Americans stand with the people of Japan and grieve for the victims and their families.”
Thereafter, the President took off for the USS Wasp, a United States Navy multipurpose amphibious assault ship docked nearby, where he descended to give a speech to hundreds of Americans who are part of the U.S. 7th Fleet. Thanking both specific generals and service members, he called the sailors “the strongest, toughest, best and bravest,” and thanked them for their service.
President Trump also thanked Prime Minister Abe again for an “unforgettable visit,” and reiterated the unique significance of the security alliance. He commented: “This remarkable port is the only one in the world where the American naval fleet and an allied naval fleet are headquartered side by side — a testament to the ironclad partnership between the U.S. and Japanese forces.”
President Trump and his wife Melania took off from Haneda Airport at about 1 P.M. Tuesday, closing three days of entertainment, summit talks, state functions, and security alliance tours.
President Trump will be in Japan next at the end of June, when the Osaka G20 summit is set to take place. The G20 is expected to provide a tangible test of U.S.-Japan relations.
Author: JAPAN Forward