President Trump Welcomes Japanese PM Abe

Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe shakes hands with President Donald Trump in the Oval Office on Friday. (Reuters/Jim Bourg)

WASHINGTON (AP) - President Donald Trump welcomed Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe (SHEEN-zoh AH-bay) to the White House early Friday afternoon.

Trump greeted Abe as he arrived in his black sedan at the doors of the West Wing. The two men embraced before entering the building together.

Trump and Abe will hold talks in the Oval Office, followed by a joint news conference and a working lunch in the State Dining Room.

The two leaders will depart on Air Force One on Friday afternoon for a trip to Trump’s Mar-a-Lago Club in Florida. Trump and Abe are scheduled to play golf in south Florida on Saturday.

Earlier Friday morning, Abe spoke at the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, making the case for Japanese business, which he says supports some 840,000 jobs in the United States.

Abe said that “a whopping majority” of the Japanese cars running on American roads are manufactured in the U.S. by American workers.

Trump has criticized Toyota Motor Corp. for planning to build an assembly plant in Mexico and complained that Japanese consumers don’t buy enough U.S.-made cars.

Abe said it was an honor to be meeting Trump less than a month after his inauguration, showing the “unwavering alliance” between the two countries.