Did Japan's PM nominate Trump for the Nobel Peace Prize after president asked him to?
19 February, 2019, 03:30
Prime Minister Shinzo Abe declined on Monday to comment on a claim by U.S. President Donald Trump that he'd nominated the American leader for this year's Nobel Peace Prize, but did not deny the assertion, instead praising Trump's efforts to defuse the North Korean nuclear crisis.
Abe noted while speaking in Parliament on Monday that the Nobel committee does not disclose the parties behind nominations for a half-century. "President Trump has acted decisively toward resolving the issues of the North Korean nuclear and missile problems", Abe said.
Trump claimed on Friday that Mr Abe put his name forward for the award.
Trump wasn't wrong about the nomination, Japanese newspaper Asahireports, but he left out a key detail - Abe nominated Trump after the White House nudged him to.
Mr Tamaki said in a tweet that given the lack of progress on various issues with North Korea that he was concerned such a nomination would "send the wrong message to North Korea and the rest of global society".
Lamenting the fact that former US president Barack Obama received the Nobel Peace Prize in 2009, Trump complained his predecessor "didn't even know what he got it for".
The Asahi newspaper of Japan said the nomination had been made after a request from the U.S.
In responding to Mr Tamakis questions in parliament, Mr Abe lauded Mr Trump for meeting with Kim Jong-un and working to resolve the crisis over North Korea's nuclear program and missile tests.
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According to the Nobel Foundation, "a nomination for the Nobel Peace Prize may be submitted by any person who meets the nomination criteria".
During the Diet session, Abe praised Trump's accomplishments. If true, this is not only an embarrassment for President Trump, but also for high ranking officials within the Japanese government.
The US is Japan's ally and anchor for national defense and Abe has assiduously cultivated cordial ties with Trump.
Trump's landmark June 2018 summit with Kim in Singapore was replete with pomp but thin on substance.
On Friday he said, "They gave it to Obama".
"He said ´I have nominated you respectfully on behalf of Japan".
Mr. Abe personally has a large political stake in making progress on resolving the abductions issue with North Korea, an important issue for his nationalist political base.
The anecdote came as he hailed Pyongyang's "tremendous" economic potential and his "great relationship" with Kim ahead of a second scheduled summit between the two leaders late next week. The spokesman, Kim Eui-keum, said that as far as he knows, Moon hadn't done so. 'I said thank you'.
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