>> I grabbed him and hugged because that's the way we feel.>> President Trump, on Friday, going to unusual lengths to cozy up to an old US ally. Day one of a charm offensive with Japanese Prime Minister, Shinzo Abe.>> And the American people have profound respect->> Quite a turnaround after Trump has accused Japan of freeloading on US security, stealing American jobs, and rigging it's currency.
I'm Andy Sullivan in Washington, where part of what's greasing the relationship is Abe's plan to invest up to $150 billion in the United States, which could help create up to 700,000 jobs for things like bolstering cyber defenses and building high speed trains. That's just the sort of Twitter ready statistic that Trump loves, helping him make the case that he's bringing high paying work back to the United States from overseas.
Abe proposing a public, private partnership to build high speed railways in Texas, California, and the US Northeast. As well as investments in robots, artificial intelligence, and space exploration. He also may suggest increased imports of US oil and gas to narrow a trade gap that has drawn Trump's ire.
That could help Abe build goodwill in more sensitive areas during talks at the White House and on Trump's Florida golf course. Japanese officials have been scrambling to respond the Trump's scattered shot comments. The US President accusing Japan of devaluing its currency to hurt US companies and unfair trade in the automobile market.
>> It has to be fair, and we will make it fair.>> He dropped out of the 12 nation Trans Pacific Partnership Trade Pact. He wants to negotiate a separate trade deal directly with Japan. Trump has also suggested that Japan and it's neighbors aren't pulling their weight on the military front.
Not a hint of that on Friday though, as he seeks to firm up an alliance that will surely be put to the test as China flexes it's muscles in the region. We have a very, very good bond, very, very good chemistry. I'll let you know if it changes, but I don't think it will.
>> After talks at the White House, the two flying to Palm Beach, Florida for a weekend stay at Trump's Mar-a-Lago resort and a round of golf. That raising further ethics questions over whether Trump's business will benefit from this activity. The White House saying, Trump would pick up the tab, himself, as a personal gift to Abe.