During a wide-ranging interview in Tokyo on Saturday (July 21), Suga also said he expects Prime Minister Shinzo Abe to stand for re-election in September as leader of the ruling Liberal Democratic Party.
Suga said that he knows the US side is keenly interested in a bilateral trade deal, but Japan will continue to insist that the US returning to the Trans-Pacific Partnership trade agreement is in the best interests of both countries.
He added that Japan was no longer in deflation and indicated that the government may issue an official statement declaring the economy to be free of deflation before the sales tax hike.
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For Suga, resolution of the issues of North Korean abductions of Japanese citizens, nuclear weapons and ballistic missiles remain central to any normalization of diplomatic relations with North Korea.