Hours before departing for Japan on Wednesday for a gathering of global leaders, President Trump complained about what he characterized as lopsided military obligations between the two countries.
“If Japan is attacked, we will fight World War III,” Trump said. “We will go in, and we will protect them, and we will fight with our lives and with our treasure. We will fight at all costs. But if we’re attacked, Japan doesn’t have to help us at all. They should watch it on a Sony television, the attack.”
Trump’s comments during a wide-ranging Fox Business interview came as he prepared to head to the Group of 20 summit in Osaka. He is expected to meet with Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe during the visit.
[ Trump says war with Iran would not involve ground troops and not last long ]
Trump was referring to a treaty signed more than 60 years ago that forms the foundation of the alliance between the United States and Japan that emerged from World War II.
Bloomberg reported this week that Trump had recently mused to confidants about withdrawing from the treaty, citing people familiar with the matter. The Bloomberg report said administration officials consider such a move highly unlikely.
Trump’s comments on Japan came as he complained more broadly about relations with other countries, including U.S. allies.
“Almost all countries in this world take tremendous advantage of the United States. It’s unbelievable,” he said.
Trump also cited the failure of other countries to meet goals set for defense spending by the North Atlantic Treaty Organization.
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LINK ORIGINAL: Washington Post