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‘Not saying it’s not true’: Abe’s cryptic reply on Trump’s Nobel nomination

‘Not saying it’s not true’: Abe’s cryptic reply on Trump’s Nobel nomination

Japan's The Asahi Shimbun newspaper reported on Sunday that Prime Minister Shinzo Abe made the nomination at the request of Trump's government sometime in the autumn.

Trump boasted Friday during a White House Rose Garden press event that Abe had handed him "the most attractive copy" of a five-page letter about the nomination but concluded 'I'll probably never get it'.

"In line with this policy, I would like to refrain from giving a comment", Abe said in response to a question from an opposition lawmaker. Nor could a report Sunday by the Japanese newspaper Asahi Shimbun, citing unidentified government sources, that Abe had nominated Trump at the US president's request.

According to The Guardian, Abe was asked about the story in a parliamentary session, and he responded by issuing a non-denial.

The former non-voting secretary of the Nobel Peace Prize committee said in 2015 that members regretted giving the prestigious award to former president Barack Obama in 2009, less than a year into his first term. He said, "I thus decline comment".

"Being Trump's closest friend among world leaders has not worked out too well for Abe", said Jeff Kingston, director of Asian Studies at Temple University Japan.

"They gave it to Obama", Trump said.

The Japanese Defense Ministry's annual white paper released in August described North Korea as still posing a "grave and imminent" threat to the country. A nomination for the Nobel Peace Prize may be submitted by any persons who are qualified to nominate. "I'll probably never get it, but that's okay".

The deadline for nominations for the 2019 prize, which will be announced on October 11., was January 31.

"He was there for about 15 seconds and he got the Nobel Prize", Trump claimed.

The Japanese leader's efforts have included many summit meetings and teleconferences with the USA president, pledges to buy expensive weapon systems produced by US firms and even a red-carpet reception for Ivanka Trump when she visited Japan in November 2017.

US President Donald Trump and North Korea's leader Kim Jong Un meet at the start of their summit at the Capella Hotel on the resort island of Sentosa, Singapore, on June 12, 2018. The spokesman, Kim Eui-keum, said that as far as he knows, Moon hadn't done so. That's a welcome development for Japan, which sits well within the range of its missiles and has sometimes had test rockets land in its territorial waters.

Abe has been keen to claim progress in resolving the abduction dispute with North Korea, an important issue for his nationalist political base. The prize is awarded on December 10, in Oslo, Norway.

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