Trump hopes this relationship will pay off in the effort to pressure North Korea to back away from the nuclear brink.
Trump is expected to call on the international community to maximize pressure on Kim Jong Un's regime, a position fully supported by Japan. North Korea launched two missiles over Japanese airspace in September.
“Well, of course they’re worried. They should be worried,” Trump told Fox News last week, referring to Japan. “You know they’re very close to North Korea.”
“Japan fully supports the United States position that all options are on the table when it comes to North Korea,” said Takehiro Shimada, spokesperson for Japan's embassy in the U.S.
Shimada told ABC News that Abe is not concerned that Trump may be seen as sending mixed signals to North Korea. He cited the frequent phone conversations and information-sharing between the Japanese and U.S. leaders and referred to Trump’s hostile rhetoric as a “tactic.”
Trump has pushed back against the suggestion that his administration's approach to North Korea is inconsistent, telling reporters in August, “There are no mixed messages.”
Japan isn’t expecting that the United States will immediately engage military action, Shimada said.
Since November, Trump and Abe have talked on the phone 16 times and met in person five times.
Abe was the first foreign leader to meet with Trump, which he did one week after the November 2016 election. He’s also the first foreign leader known to have visited three of Trump’s residences – Trump Tower, the White House and Trump’s Mar-a-Lago resort in Florida for a weekend of golfing. The two leaders are expected to play a round of golf together while Trump is in Japan.