TOKYO (Reuters) – Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe nominated U.S. President Donald Trump for the Nobel Peace Prize last autumn after receiving a request from the U.S. 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 U.S. government had sounded Abe out over the Noble Peace Prize nomination after 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 U.S. 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 immediate 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.
Reporting by Makiko Yamazaki; Additional reporting by Steve Holland in Washington; Editing by Sam Holmes