Work on shrinking trade imbalances with China and Japan is running hand-in-hand with renegotiating the North American Free Trade Agreement, said a Republican insider close to Trump.
KORUS, which was signed five years ago, provides duty-free access for 95 percent of consumer and industrial goods.
Pence said, "We appreciate the challenging times in which the people of Japan live with increasing provocations from across the Sea of Japan". Korea's trade surplus has more than doubled since the deal's entry into force, he said.
Sakakibara said he explained to Pence how Japanese corporate activities have contributed to the USA economy.
He'll wrap up his Japan trip with a visit to a Japanese youth baseball and softball clinic before departing for Jakarta, Indonesia.
He also alluded to tensions in the South China Sea, where China is embroiled in territorial rows with several South-east Asian countries, saying the United States will stoutly defend the freedom of navigation through the waterway.
Over the past six months, Indonesia has wrestled with mining giant Freeport McMoRan, demanding the company divest 51 per cent of its shares in its Papua-based gold and copper mine, and has demanded that Google Inc settle unpaid taxes of more than US$400 million.
"North Korea is the most risky and urgent threat to peace and security in the Asia-Pacific", he said.
170419-N-WA993-258 YOKOSUKA, Japan (April 19, 2017) Vice President Michael R. Pence greets service members on the flight deck of the Navy's forward-deployed aircraft carrier, USS Ronald Reagan (CVN 76), in Yokosuka, Japan, April 19, 2017.
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He also thanked President Donald Trump for hosting the celebration "and for supporting our team for as long as I can remember". While seven Patriots announced ahead of time that they would not visit, almost half the team didn't make the trip to D.C.
In Trump's first 100 days in office, Pence noted, the new president has taken steps to strengthen America's military.
The vice president also said the USA would promote peaceful dialogue and defend human rights, "because the dignity and worth of every person is an eternal value of the United States".
Japan's Deputy Prime Minister Taro Aso and U.S. Vice President Mike Pence agreed in their first meeting to proceed with talks in three areas: rules on trade and investment, collaboration on economic policy, and cooperation in the development of infrastructure and energy. We hope Japan will persevere in calling for the U.S.to return to the TPP, which would contribute to growth in the Asia-Pacific region as a whole.
The vice president praised Indonesia for its moderate form of Islam and said the two countries would continue to cooperate on combating terrorism.
The vice president is on a 10-day tour of Asia.
Pence also spoke to U.S. and South Korea business leaders in Seoul, saying that the Trump administration wants to restructure the South Korea-U.S. trade deal, known as 'Korus.' He says the trade deficit with South Korea has doubled since the deal came into effect.
Widodo, who wants more foreign investment as he seeks to boost Southeast Asia's top economy, said the leaders had focused on "the United States commitment to enhance the strategic partnership with Indonesia, focusing on cooperation and investment".
He said the North Korean regime had for more than a generation sought to develop nuclear weapons and the missiles with which to fire them, impoverishing its people and embittering the region in the process.