President Donald Trump and Japan's Prime Minister Shinzo Abe talk during a family photo session on the opening day of the Argentina G20 Leaders' Summit 2018 at Costa Salguero on November 30, 2018 in Buenos Aires, Argentina. The Asahi Shimbun/The Asahi Shimbun via Getty Imag
Photo: The Asahi Shimbun/The Asahi Shimbun via Getty Imag
Photo: The Asahi Shimbun/The Asahi Shimbun via Getty Imag

Japan nominated Trump for Nobel Peace Prize after White House request, reports say

President Donald Trump’s surprising claim last week that he had been nominated for a Nobel Peace Prize could be true.

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Japan’s daily newspaper, Asahi Shimbun, citing government sources, reported Sunday that the country’s prime minister, Shinzo Abe, nominated Trump for the prestigious award after the White House asked him to.

While Abe did not confirm it outright, he did not deny it and praised Trump for his meeting last year with North Korean dictator Kim Jong Un, according to The Japan Times. “I’m not saying (the claim) is untrue,” Abe said during a government budget session meeting on Monday.

“The Nobel committee won’t reveal who nominated (someone for a prize) or those who were nominated for 50 years,” he said. “In accordance with this policy, I’d like to refrain from commenting.”

Trump became the first sitting U.S. president to meet with a leader of the communist North Korean regime during a summit last June in Singapore. While little progress has actually been made since then in getting North Korea to dismantle its nuclear sites and to prove it, Trump has another meeting planned with Kim at the end of February in Vietnam.

>> Related: Trump nominated for Nobel Peace Prize after North Korea summit

The deadline to nominate a person or group for the Nobel Peace Prize this year was Jan. 31. There are 304 candidates for the prize this year, 219 people and 85 organizations, according to the Nobel Committee.

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