WASHINGTON (CBSNewYork/AP) — President Donald Trump said Friday that the United States-Japan alliance “is the cornerstone of peace and stability in the Pacific region.”

The president was speaking Friday during a joint news conference with Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe after welcoming him to the White House for talks in the Oval Office.

“The bond between our two nations and the friendship between our two peoples runs very, very deep,” Trump said. “This administration is committed to bringing those ties even closer.”

The president said the U.S. is “committed to the security of Japan and all areas under its administrative control and to further strengthening our very crucial alliance.”

Speaking after the president, Abe said “of course there are disagreements” between the U.S. and Japan, but said “we should not close down the dialogue just by pointing to the differences.”

Abe has wasted no time in trying to win Trump’s trust. He was the only world leader to meet the Republican before inauguration, and he will be the second to do so since the new president took office.

“I shook hands but I grabbed him and hugged him because that’s the way we feel, we have a very, very good bond, very, very good chemistry,” the president said of their meeting.

Trump will then host Abe and his wife at his Mar-a-Lago Club in Florida. The two are scheduled to play golf on Saturday.

The president also took questions about his temporary travel ban, which has been put on hold by a federal court. It’s not clear what the administration will do next, but the president said he will do whatever is necessary to keep the nation safe.

“So we’ll be doing something very rapidly having to do with additional security for our country. You’ll be seeing that sometime next week,” he said.

Trump did not address reports that his National Security Adviser Mike Flynn talked about U.S. sanctions with Russia before President Barack Obama left office. The White House has repeatedly denied that.

The Washington Post reported Flynn said Wednesday that he had not had conversations about sanctions with the Russian ambassador, but on Thursday, a Flynn spokesperson said he had no recollection about sanctions being discussed, but couldn’t be certain about it.

Meanwhile, Trump’s Education Secretary got a hostile greeting at a school in Washington, D.C. She was physically blocked when she tried to get in. Demonstrators included members of the Washington teacher’s union.

Betsy DeVos was able to get into the building through another entrance. She later issued a statement, saying, “I respect peaceful protest, and I will not be deterred in executing the vital mission of the Department of Education… No school door in America will be blocked from those seeking to help our nation’s school children.”

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