US President Donald Trump has backed the Japanese prime minister’s interest in using his country’s good relations with Iran to help broker a possible dialogue between the two nations.
Trump, who has said he is open to having a dialogue with Iran, has saought to downplay fears of military conflict.
The comments were made on Monday when Trump and Japan’s Shinzo Abe talked about Iran amid rising tension between Tehran and Washington.
With Abe at his side, Trump told reporters at Akasaka Palace on Monday that “nobody wants to see terrible things happen”.
Earlier, Trump became the first foreign leader to meet Japan’s newly enthroned Emperor Naruhito, in a state visit overshadowed by tensions over trade and policy on North Korea.
Emperor Naruhito and Empress Masako on Monday greeted Trump at the Imperial Palace in Tokyo as part of a formal welcome ceremony that was broadcast live on national television.
Later on Monday, the US president and his wife, Melania Trump, will sit down to a lavish state dinner with the emperor and the empress.
Emperor Naruhito ascended to the throne on May 1, opening what is called the era of “Reiwa,” or “beautiful harmony.”
Trump and Abe spent the weekend playing golf, eating out and watching sumo.
“There’s a sense that this is another sign of the good relations between these two countries, but in particular a sign of the relationship between Trump and Abe,” Al Jazeera’s Wayne Hay, reporting from Tokyo, said.
“There’s a sense that they could have given this meeting to anyone, but they didn’t. They gave it to the US, they gave it to Trump.”
The show of friendship is meant to demonstrate the strength of the alliance between the US and Japan despite policy disagreements over trade and North Korea.