Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe is scheduled to visit Washington, D.C., from February 9-13. During the arranged talks with U.S. President Donald Trump, Abe will attempt to secure economic ties over a round of golf (Japan Times 1). Seeking to alleviate Trump’s previous criticism of Japan being an “unfair trade partner,” Abe will reportedly offer an investment of $450 billion in America to create U.S. jobs (Japan Times 2). Additionally, Trump reportedly plans to discuss the possibility of a bilateral free trade deal with Tokyo. Japanese officials are concerned that Abe might make “hard-to-keep promises” when the two meet, as Abe’s grandfather and former Prime Minister Nobusuke Kishi did with President Dwight Eisenhower in 1957 (Reuters).
Despite assurances of the Japan-U.S. military alliance from U.S. Defense Secretary James Mattis, Japanese officials worry Trump may not share the same sentiments (Reuters). Abe will expect Trump’s reaffirmation of the U.S. commitment to defend Japan-controlled East China Sea Islands. Some in Tokyo fear that Trump will make an agreement with the Chinese government that will take Japan out of the picture (Reuters). Nonetheless, the acceptance of such a meeting showcases the importance of bilateral relations between the two nations (Japan Times 3).
Tags: Japan, Asia, Diplomacy, United States, Lucien