Leaving for G20 in Osaka, Trump complains about US defense pact with Japan
AlxeyPnferov/iStock(WASHINGTON) — Just before taking off on Air Force One for the G20 summit in Osaka, President Donald Trump complained about the longstanding U.S. defense pact with Japan, America’s closest ally in Asia, and bashed some member countries for using the United States as a “piggy bank.”
The president accused member countries of the G20 — specifically close allies — including Japan, Germany, and Canada — of abusing the United States in trade and defense. The president said he took particular issue with a historic postwar U.S.-Japan defense treaty that states the United States will come to defense of Japan if it is attacked and allows the United States to have a military presence on the island nation.
“If Japan is attacked, we will fight World War III. We will go in and protect them with our lives and with our treasure,” Trump said during an interview on Fox Business Network with anchor Maria Bartiromo. “But if we are attacked, Japan doesn’t have to help us at all. They can watch on a Sony television, the attack.”
Bloomberg News reported earlier this week that president has considered pulling out of the defense pact in private, but the crumbling of the agreement would have a significant impact on the United States’ influence in Asia and leave the island nation of Japan, surrounded by nuclear threats on all sides, to fend for itself.
The White House did not respond to a request for comment.
The president’s comments come just a month after he was treated as a special state guest in Japan where the red carpet was rolled out for a meeting with the new emperor, lavish dinners and a VIP seat at Japan’s sumo wrestling tournament. While at the G20, he is expected to again meet with Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and discuss trade and regional geopolitical concerns like North Korea.
But Japan wasn’t the only country the president called out ahead of his G20 trip. He also said European countries were abusing the United States.
The president said Europe treats the United States “worse than China,” and then went on to suggest an EU leader “hates the United States.”
“There’s a woman in Europe — I won’t mention her name — she’s actually considered to take Jean Claude’s place — she hates the United States perhaps worse than any person I’ve ever met. What she does to our country. She is suing all of our companies.”
He went on to say the United States is propping NATO up and claimed that NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg has said: “If it wasn’t for President Trump we won’t have NATO.”
Trump said that Canada has also taken advantage of the United States, too: “We were being taken advantage of by Canada nobody knows that — ‘O Canada,’ beautiful song — they charge 300% tariff for a little thing called agricultural products,” he said.
While in Osaka, Trump will also be meeting with China’s Xi Jinping, Russia’s Vladimir Putin, Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and later South Korean President Moon Jae-in when he makes a visit to Seoul, South Korea.
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