Fw: WH Travel Pool 11/19 #7: Abe bilat

From: Memoli, Michael [mailto:xxx@email.com]
Sent: Thursday, November 19, 2015 07:16 PM
To: Barnes, Desiree N. EOP/WHO
Subject: WH Travel Pool 11/19 #7: Abe bilat

At 6:39 pm the pool entered the blue-curtained space in the tent outside Sofitel where prime minister Abe and POTUS were seated at the end of a long table set for a full delegation, through the leaders were the only members at the table.

After short statements -- both involving consecutive translation -- they stood to shake hands for the cameras before pool was ushered out at 6:51pm.

POTUS spoke first, hailing the excellent relationship he has with "my friend, Prime Minister Abe" and saying he looked forward to discussing their economic and security cooperation." The US-Japan alliance "is one of the linchpins of our security," he said.

POTUS mentioned the realignment in Okinawa and congratulated Abe on legislation bolstering Japan's defense capabilities.

He and "Shinzo" both share an interest in continuing to foster rule of law and supporting international norms in areas like freedom of navigation and maritime law.

POTUS also noted the work on the economy and said: "Both of us are interested in ratifying and implementing the Trans Pacific Partnership."

"On every issue that is of great importance to the United States of America, we've got a great partner in Japan," he closed.

PM Abe thanked POTUS for his remarks, including the congratulations on the security legislation and trilateral meeting with China and South Korea. He said it felt like a long time since their last thorough discussion in Washington, and said he looked forward to welcome POTUS and FLOTUS to Japan for the G-7 next year.

On energy and infrastructure he said he was delighted there was a basic agreement for financing coal-fired power generation, and funding for mag-lev projects. "I'm very pleased to see that we are achieving concrete results."

Abe said he looked to expand their "robust alliance" to enhance the peace, stability and prosperity of the Asia-Pacific region and eventually globally. And he looked forward to  a candid discussion about security cooperation and global challenges like climate change.

Pool will be notified when the bilat has concluded at which point we have an immediate lid.

Mike Memoli
Los Angeles Times / Tribune Washington Bureau
xxx-xxx-xxxx • @mikememoli

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