Tokyo: The trade agreement Washington and Tokyo plan to negotiate will be a model for the Indo-Pacific region, US Vice President Mike Pence said at the start of his Asia tour on Tuesday. Mike Pence, who referred to trade negotiations to be held between the US and Japan in January, met Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe during the first stop of his Asia and Oceania tour, Efe news reported. “The alliance between the US and Japan is historic. It is the cornerstone of peace and prosperity in the Indo-Pacific,” said Pence.
In a joint media briefing, the two leaders highlighted the strength of their bilateral trade and defence ties although they also expressed differences in addressing economic cooperation. “We are grateful for Japan’s renewed investment,” said the US leader. He thanked Abe for his commitment to Japanese investments in the US which were a major economic contribution and source of job creation. However, Pence pointed out that bilateral trade balance had been uneven for too long as Japan applied barriers on US goods and services imports. But Japan, Pence said, “is an indispensable trading partner for the US” and the countries have a great opportunity ahead in the economic dialogue formally started in September. (IANS)