Today: Wednesday, 22 May 2024 year

Merkel, Abe meet for negotiations on trade and nuclear arms control

Merkel, Abe meet for negotiations on trade and nuclear arms control

The German Chancellor held talks with Japan’s prime minister Shinzo Abe at his official residence on Monday. On a tight schedule, Ms Merkel has discussed the issues of the trade and nuclear arms control. 

Amid the increasing friction over world trade, with US tariffs still in place on steel and aluminium, Brexit’s unclear perspective, Merkel’s visit was touted in Germany as a chance for two major world powers to stand up for open trade in defiance of the US president.

Japanese PM Shinzo Abe, to celebrate a new free trade deal between Japan and the EU. The top governmental officials’ agenda also included the exchange of opinions on nuclear arms control amid intensifying Russia’s activity. Even though both Japan and Germany would have the capability to produce nuclear weapons, their governments have refrained from producing them after World War II. Despite this, Germany participates in NATO nuclear weapons sharing and Japan enjoys protection under the US nuclear umbrella.

After the recent World Economic Forum in Davos, Merkel and Abe struck a similar tone when they addressed on trade issues, with the Japanese leader vowing that his country would push to rebuild trust in the global trade system. Being the powerful exporters, global third and fourth largest economies respectively, Japan and Germany are keen to preserve free trade on a wider basis.

Angela Merkel’s fifth visit to Japan began on Monday, three days after a free trade pact came into effect between the country and the European Union.

“Germany and Japan are, in these politically troubled times, close and well-acquainted partners,” Chancellor’s spokesman Steffen Seibert said ahead of the trip. He also reiterated that two great democracies will stand for a set of shared values.

Germany’s Chancellor and the Japanese PM had been set to discuss international trade and Japan’s priorities for its upcoming presidency of the G20 group of economic powers. They were also expected to address the US and Russia’s suspension of the Intermediate-range Nuclear Forces Treaty.