Centre de Congrès Bellevue Biarritz, France August 25 11:32 A.M. CEST
Thank you very much. It's a great honor to be here. We're having some very good discussions, maybe even great discussions. And I will say that our relationship with Prime Minister Abe and Japan has been, I think, the best it's ever been. I don't know, I'll let you speak to that. But I think it's the best it's ever been.
We're discussing trade. We're doing a lot of trade together; a lot of military trade, actually, which is a big component. We're also talking, obviously, about North Korea. And those discussions are going very well. And we're discussing lots of other things. And the relationship between us, but also the relationship with us and the other countries, has really been - of the G7 - has really been outstanding.
From the moment we got here, we've been treated beautifully. I think I speak for Shinzo and myself. We've been treated beautifully. And I want to congratulate - and I have to say "thus far," because we're probably halfway through. But thus far, this has been really a great G7, and I want to congratulate France and your President because they have really done a great job.
PRIME MINISTER ABE:
(As interpreted.) I would like to congratulate you on the birth of your 10th grandchild.
PRIME MINISTER ABE:
(As interpreted.) And speaking of our intensive diplomatic engagement, as shown by my own visit to Washington, D.C. back in April, followed by you and Madam First Lady's state visit to Japan in the month of May as a very first state guest under the new era called Reiwa, and also followed by our meeting on the margins of G20 Osaka Summit.
So, as shown by these meetings, we have been conducting very frequent exchange of opinions, as well as visits. And looking back at the history of Japan-U.S. relations, we've never seen this frequent level of visits between the two leaders as we have seen at this moment.
So I think it is fair to say that, we as the leaders of Japan and the United States, now enjoy a robust relationship of trust more so than ever, and same can be said vis-à-vis the status of the Japan-U.S. relations in general.
And thanks to your tremendous support for me as a chair of the G20 Osaka Summit, we could send out a really powerful message toward addressing various global challenges. And just as importantly, I am ready to work very closely with you, Donald, so as to bring this year's G7 Summit to a successful conclusion.
So, on this occasion, I certainly look forward to discuss with you specific ways to deepen our alliance between the two countries and also the regional situations, including North Korea as well as Iran. And, of course, we look forward to discussing bilateral trade as well as the economic relationship. And I certainly hope to have a very productive discussion with you.
Well, thank you. And I want to also congratulate the great Matsuyama. You know who Matsuyama is? He's a great golfer that we played with and we had a lot of fun.
And Shinzo is a very good golfer, and we have a lot of fun playing golf together. And we played with Ernie Els here, and Shinzo reciprocated with a great player, Matsuyama. And last week, in a big tournament - which is a one of the very biggest tournaments - he came in third, and he shot a 62 or 63 in the final round, which is not bad. Right? Which is not bad. So, he's a great young man and he's a great golfer. And please congratulate him for me. Thank you.
Mr. President, do you have a trade deal with Japan? Have you agreed on a trade deal?
We're working on one, and we're fairly close. And I don't know as to, Bob Lighthizer, what's happening. Can you give us a status report?
Well, we're very close and we've been working intensively. And hopefully, as a result of this meeting, we'll be able to come to an agreement on core principles.
A very big deal. It's a major deal with Japan. If it gets done, we'll possibly know by the end of this meeting.
Mr. President, did you sign off on a statement to Iran - a message to Iran that President Macron says he's going to deliver on behalf of all the G7 countries?
No, I haven't discussed that. No.
No, I haven't.
Do you support President Macron's outreach to Iranian authorities?
Sure. And I also support Prime Minister Abe's outreach because he's also speaking to Iran, and they have a very good relationship, from what I understand. But Iran is no longer the same country it was - as it was two and a half years ago. But we'll do our own outreach. But, you know, I can't stop people from talking. If they want to talk, they can talk.
What are some of the issues you all talked about at dinner last night?
Why don't you tell me what we spoke about last night? (Laughter.)
I'm asking you, sir.
Because there was a lot of inaccurate reporting. We had a really good dinner last night.
And I had a fantastic lunch with the President of France yesterday. The best - frankly - and I told him, and I was totally honest - probably an hour and a half. Many of you saw it. I think it was the best hour and a half I've ever spent with him, President Macron.
It was a perfect period of time. And yet, I picked up stories, and I read like it was the opposite. It was really was. I mean, it doesn't matter; you can write whatever you want to write. But it was false reporting.
We had a very, very good lunch, and we had a very, very good dinner last night. Everybody was at the dinner. And I think it was really good. We discussed Iran. We discussed trade. We discussed China. And we discussed many things. But it was a very, very good - a very good dinner.
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