1st LD Writethru: Abe, U.S. national security adviser hold talks ahead of Trump's state visit to Japan

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TOKYO, May 24 (Xinhua) -- Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and U.S. National Security Adviser John Bolton held talks in Tokyo Friday to discuss U.S. President Donald Trump's four-day state visit.

Japanese government sources said that Abe told Bolton that Trump's visit would be a historic one, as he will be the first state guest to meet with Emperor Naruhito, who took the throne on May 1.

Abe also expressed his hope to Bolton that through Trump's visit, Japan and the United States could strengthen their bilateral alliance.

Bolton told a press briefing after meeting with Abe that Trump is looking forward to holding productive discussions on a range of important issues with Abe and was honored to be the first state visitor to meet the new emperor.

Trump and his wife, Melania, are scheduled to arrive in Tokyo on Saturday afternoon and the U.S. president and first lady will stay at the Palace Hotel Tokyo, near the Imperial Palace in Tokyo's Chiyoda Ward.

On Sunday, Abe and Trump are slated to play golf at the Mobara Country Club in Mobara, in Tokyo's neighboring prefecture of Chiba.

On Sunday afternoon, the U.S. president will watch final-day matches of the Summer Grand Sumo Tournament at the Ryogoku Kokugikan arena in Tokyo and attend dinner with Abe and his wife Akie afterwards, government sources here said.

They are expected to dine at a robatayaki (Hokkaido-style charcoal grill) restaurant in the Roppongi entertainment district of Tokyo, sources with knowledge of the matter said.

From Monday morning, at the State Guesthouse at Akasaka Palace in Tokyo, Abe and Trump will sit down for official summit talks and the two leaders are scheduled to deliver a joint news conference in the afternoon.

Trump has been invited to meet Emperor Naruhito and attend an imperial banquet with the new emperor at the Imperial Palace on Monday.

The U.S. leader is scheduled to visit the Yokosuka base in Kanagawa Prefecture and inspect Japan's Izumo-class "de facto" aircraft carriers on Tuesday.

At the conclusion of Trump's visit, according to government sources, a joint statement is unlikely to be issued as both sides have indicated that issues of trade, whether discussed at the summit or not, will not dominate media-based proceedings, with Japan having inferred that Trump's visit is more a show of friendly ties between the two countries.

However, concurrent with Trump's visit, the two countries' top trade negotiators, Toshimitsu Motegi, Japan's minister for economic and fiscal policy, and U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer, will hold talks in Tokyo on Saturday, government sources here confirmed Friday. Enditem

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