Abe Downplays Speculation of Secret Trade Deal with U.S.

Politics

Tokyo, June 3 (Jiji Press)--Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe downplayed on Monday speculation that his government has made a secret deal with the United States in their bilateral trade negotiations.

At a meeting between the government and the ruling parties, Abe said the speculation is "totally groundless," according to Natsuo Yamaguchi, leader of Komeito, the coalition partner of Abe's Liberal Democratic Party, who attended the meeting.

The speculation emerged after U.S. President Donald Trump said at a summit with Abe in Tokyo last week that the two governments "will be announcing some things, probably in August."

Yukio Edano, leader of the opposition Constitutional Democratic Party of Japan, claimed that the Trump remark suggested the existence of a secret trade deal between the two sides.

Furthermore, Edano argued that the Abe administration likely made greater concessions on primary products in the trade talks with the United States than in the Trans-Pacific Partnership free trade agreement.

[Copyright The Jiji Press, Ltd.]

Jiji Press