WASHINGTON (AP) — Vice President Mike Pence is meeting with Japan's deputy prime minister on economic issues ahead of President Donald Trump's trip to Asia next month.

Pence says alongside Japan Deputy Prime Minister Taro Aso that he's confident the U.S. and Japan will make progress toward their goal of developing stronger economic ties.

Pence kicked off the U.S-Japan economic dialogue during his trip to Japan last spring. Trump is expected to meet with Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe (shin-zoh AH'-bay) next month during his planned five-nation trip to Asia.

Aso says the U.S. and Japanese ties are supported by the two nations' "close economic relationship." He says they hope to bring the relationship to "new heights." The two leaders were also conferring on security issues in the Korean Peninsula.