Tokyo: Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe is set to become the first foreign leader to meet US President-elect Donald Trump, officials said on Thursday.
Abe departed for New York on Thursday on his way to an Asia-Pacific trade summit in Peru, CNN reported.
"I am very honoured to see the President-elect ahead of other world leaders," Abe told reporters before his departure.
"The Japan-US alliance is the axis of Japan`s diplomacy and security. The alliance becomes alive only when there is trust between us. I would like to build such a trust with Trump."
Abe, like other Asian leaders, is keen to find out to what extent Trump`s campaign trail rhetoric will become policy after Trump suggested he may withdraw US troops from the region, according to sources.
A top aide to Abe, Katsuyuki Kawai, said he was told by members of Trump`s transition team that Trump`s previous remarks should not be taken literally.