Japan says differences with US on economic talks

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The trip so far has been dominated by USA and allies' concerns about North Korea's nuclear and missile development efforts.

Pence arrived in Tokyo on Tuesday from South Korea and reassured Japan of USA commitment to reining in North Korea's nuclear and missile ambitions in a series of meetings with Japanese leaders, including Prime Minister Shinzo Abe.

Trump has recently spoken highly of the Chinese President, whom he met earlier this month at his Mar-a-Lago resort in Florida and later described as a "terrific person".

His remarks also coincided with an embarrassing US admission on Tuesday that an aircraft carrier Trump said 10 days ago was sailing to waters off the Korean Peninsula was in fact heading in the opposite direction.

US Vice President Mike Pence doubled down on the US commitment to Asia Pacific with a stern warning for North Korea, which he called the "most risky and urgent threat" to the region.

The USS Carl Vinson was now heading north to the Western Pacific "as a prudent measure", according to the US Pacific Command.

Last week, President Trump said he was sending an "armada" to the Korean Peninsula as a show of force.

U.S. Vice President Mike Pence talks with members of the American Chamber of Commerce at the Grand Hyatt Hotel in Seoul, South Korea, Tuesday, April 18, 2017.

Pence will also visit Istiqlal Mosque, the largest mosque in Southeast Asia.




"The loss of US participation in the Trans-Pacific Partnership was a blow to Japan following strenuous negotiations, especially over opening its long-protected farm sector to more imports, especially of dairy and meat products".

Pence told reporters President Donald Trump was confident that economic and diplomatic pressure from the "family of nations" had a chance of compelling North Korea to cooperate.

Pence's first engagement was morning tea at the presidential palace with Jokowi.

Some economists have criticized the Trump administration's focus on trade deficits as a way of viewing USA economic ties with the rest of the world.

"The policy of President Trump is to marshal the support of our allies in the region - Japan, South Korea, nations around the world, and China", Pence said.

"Short of launching a shock and awe campaign which would be overwhelming in its breadth and scale there's not a lot else the United States and its allies can do other than tighten the constrictor grip on the North", said Alex Neill, a senior fellow at the Shangri-La Dialogue.

"My hope is that they'll continue to get the message not just from the United States, here in Japan, and in South Korea, but on an increasing basis from China and countries all over the world committing to a denuclearized Korean Peninsula", he said.

The vice president is on the second stop of a 10-day visit to the Asia-Pacific region after visiting South Korea, where he toured the demilitarized zone (DMZ), the heavily fortified border between North and South Korea.

White House officials say the meetings in Tokyo are meant to forge a framework for future discussions after the USA withdrew from a Pacific Rim trade pact.

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