Japan's PM nominated Donald Trump for Nobel Peace Prize on US request

Media report says Washington asked Shinzo Abe to enter his name after North Korea talks

Shinzo Abe, Japan's prime minister and president of the Liberal Democratic Party (LDP), waves during the party's annual convention in Tokyo, Japan, on Sunday, Feb. 10, 2019. With no serious challenger to his power emerging from his LDP or from the opposition, Abe is set to be Japan's longest-serving prime minister if he remains in office until November. Photographer: Kiyoshi Ota/Bloomberg
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Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe nominated US President Donald Trump for the Nobel Peace Prize last autumn after receiving a request from the US government to do so, the Asahi newspaper reported on Sunday.

The report follows Trump's claim on Friday that Abe had nominated him for the Nobel Peace Prize for opening talks and easing tensions with North Korea.

The Japanese leader had given him "the most beautiful copy" of a five-page nomination letter, Trump said at a White House news conference.

The US government had sounded Abe out over the Noble Peace Prize nomination after Mr Trump's summit in June last year with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un, the first meeting between a North Korean leader and a sitting US president, the Asahi said, citing an unnamed Japanese government source.

A spokesman for Japan's Foreign Ministry in Tokyo said the ministry was aware of Trump's remarks, but "would refrain from commenting on the interaction between the two leaders".

The White House had no comment when contacted by Reuters.

The Nobel Foundation's website says a nomination for the Nobel Peace Prize may be submitted by any person who meets the nomination criteria, which includes current heads of states. Under the foundation's rules, names and other information about unsuccessful nominations cannot be disclosed for 50 years.