Ivanka Trump, the USA president's daughter and senior advisor, arrived in Japan on Thursday for a three-day stay ahead of a visit by her father. "I saw a chance to help fuel the number of women-owned businesses and grow our economy".
In her remarks, Trump noted "significant improvement" for women in Japan in recent decades, and attributed some of that success to Abe's economic policies.
During a summit in Tokyo, the first daughter encouraged more women to peruse stem careers, and other fields typically dominated by men.
In a perhaps strategically beneficial warm-up for the USA president - whose popularity recently hit a low of 24 per cent among Japanese - Ms Trump flew into Tokyo on Thursday, just days before her father was due to arrive for the launch of his high stakes Asia tour on Sunday.
Toting her Women Who Work book brand, Trump also noted that women shouldn't be defined by whether or not they work inside or outside the home, and said "all women are working women".
"When women live up to their potential, many world issues can be solved", Abe said, according to AFP.
"This is my first visit to Japan, and the warmth you have shown us, the beauty of your landscape, and the vibrancy of your culture are truly incredible gifts to all who come to this country", she said. Abe has pledged $50 million to the cause, and said he hopes to create "a society where women can shine".
In the World Economic Forum's 2017 Global Gender Gap report published Thursday, Japan ranked 114 out of 144 - coming in between Guinea and Ethiopia and dropping by 13 to the country's lowest since 2012, the year Abe was elected as prime minister in December. The Guardian said Trump was greeted by "empty seats", while an online The New York Times article was headlined, "Ivanka Trump, a Media Darling in Japan, Draws Light Turnout in Tokyo". The president will also meet with relatives of Japanese nationals abducted by North Korea.