Mrs Merkel’s comments are widely viewed as a dig at the billionaire
The German leader met her Japanese counterpart, Shinzo Abe, in Hanover for the Cebit digital fair on Monday.
Following the stony reception with America’s 45th president, Mrs Merkel and Mr Abe both criticised protectionism – a route Mr Trump appears to be toying with – while praising free trade.
At the meeting between the two premiers they supported the EU-Japan free trade agreement and voiced their hopes that it would be finalised in the near future, underlining their support for free trade.
Mr Abe said: "I advocate an early conclusion of the Economic Agreement with the EU.”
Merkel meets Trump at the White House Fri, March 17, 2017
U.S. President Donald Trump has welcomed German Chancellor Angela Merkel to the White House in Washington DC
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U.S. President Trump and German Chancellor Merkel hold a joint news conference in Washington
Despite not mentioning Mr Trump by name, Mrs Merkel’s comments are widely viewed as a dig at the billionaire.
While both distancing themselves from isolation in the marketplace, Mrs Merkel said: “In times when we have to argue with many people about free trade, open borders, democratic values, it is a good sign that Japan and Germany do not argue about this, but rather shape the future for the benefit of the people.”
The German leader championed free trade principle during her time as president of the G20.
Mrs Merkel and Mr Abe highlighted the importance of keeping up with digitisation
It is a good sign that Japan and Germany do not argue about this
Her stance directly contrasted the US, which prohibited G20 finance ministers from the most powerful industrialised countries making statements on climate change and free trade.
But both the German and Japanese leader accepted the US position that free trade should be “fair”, but not to use it as an excuse to build barriers, Mrs Merkel said.
Speaking to Chinese President Xi Jinping last week, she discussed closer cooperation between China and Germany on free trade and open markets, a position she relayed to Mr Trump.
The Commander in Chief has repeatedly criticised China, and has repeatedly threatened to slap a hefty import on imports from the country.
At the technological fair Mrs Merkel and Mr Abe highlighted the importance of keeping up with digitisation and urged governments to be do more to ensure people are not left behind in the digital revolution.
Mrs Merkel told the Cebit event that “millions of people who do not yet know what to expect" from the raid advance of technology.
The Commander in Chief has repeatedly criticised China
And Mr Abe echoed her sentiment, saying: “We must not create a situation in which only certain people accumulate wealth or in which the lawless benefit."
They acknowledged Europe has been slow to keep up with the growing digitisation of the world, but Mrs Merkel said they could look to Japan for guidance in that field.
Merkel made a thinly-veiled swipe at Donald Trump following their frosty meeting in Washington
She said: "28 Member States must contribute, of course.
“But we feel that the speed is fast, and with Japan we have a friend who is using this fast pace.
"We still have a lot to do.”