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Japanese officials dismiss report that Trump spoke of ending defense treaty

With Mount Fuji in the background, an Air Force F-35A Lightning II assigned to the 34th Fighter Squadron takes off at Yokota Air Base, Japan, Feb. 9, 2018.

YASUO OSAKABE/U.S. AIR FORCE

By HANA KUSUMOTO | STARS AND STRIPES Published: June 26, 2019

TOKYO — The Japanese government has dismissed a U.S. media report saying that President Donald Trump spoke of ending the two nations’ longstanding postwar defense pact.

Bloomberg News, citing anonymous sources, reported Monday that Trump had privately mused about withdrawing from the “one-sided” security treaty with the United States’ longtime ally.

The president thinks the accord is unfair because it promises U.S. aid if Japan is attacked but doesn’t oblige Japan to come to America’s defense, the Bloomberg report said.

However, Japan’s chief cabinet secretary, Yoshihide Suga, told reporters at a news conference in Tokyo Tuesday that “there is no such talk as mentioned in the report.”

Suga added: “We have confirmation from the White House that it is inconsistent with the U.S. government’s stance.”

The U.S.-Japan alliance is the basis of Japan’s security and diplomatic policy, and the two countries have been cooperating closely for international peace and stability, he said.

Japanese Foreign Minister Taro Kono also said the White House had denied the report.

“The White House has told us that they are absolutely not considering withdrawing or revising the Japan-U.S. Security Treaty and that the report is inconsistent with the U.S. government’s stance,” he said during a separate news conference Tuesday.

There are about 54,000 U.S. troops stationed in Japan.

kusumoto.hana@stripes.com
Twitter: @HanaKusumoto

 

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