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Trump criticizes post-World War II military pact with Japan
President Trump on Wednesday criticized a post-World War II defense treaty with Japan hours before he departed for the Group of 20 Summit in Osaka, describing the agreement as imbalanced.
In an interview with Fox Business Network, Trump was asked whether he's working on trade deals with Japan, India and other countries in Southeast Asia when he took the opportunity to rail against what he perceived as unfair military pacts.
"Let me start off with a general statement," Trump said. "Almost all countries in this world take tremendous advantage of the United States. It's unbelievable."
"We have a treaty with Japan. If Japan is attacked we will fight World War III. We will go in and we will protect them and we will fight with our lives and with our treasure," Trump continued.
"We will fight at all costs. But if we're attacked Japan doesn't have to help us at all. They can watch it on a Sony television, the attack," he said, referring to the Japanese company. "So there's a little difference, OK? As bad as the economic things are, the military."
Trump's criticism followed a Bloomberg report that the president has privately floated an idea to confidants of withdrawing from the treaty with Japan, which was signed more than 60 years ago in the aftermath of World War II.
Bloomberg reported that Trump has not taken any steps toward withdrawing and that it's unlikely he would do so.
Trump departs Wednesday for Japan, which is hosting the G-20. It will be his second trip to Japan in roughly a month after he traveled there for a state visit in late May.
The president frequently complains that defense agreements like NATO are unfair to the U.S., arguing other countries should share a larger burden and lamenting that America has served as a world police force.