Published: Tue, April 17, 2018
Global | By Craig Ferguson

Abe to meet Trump amid challenges at home and overseas

Abe to meet Trump amid challenges at home and overseas

In meetings starting Tuesday, Abe will want to make sure Trump won't leave Japan exposed to any North Korean missile threat that doesn't affect America.

China and Japan took another step toward mending their troubled relations Monday, resuming high-level economic talks for the first time in almost eight years. If Abe's forced to step down, fears that Japan is being passed over by the US would only grow.

Chinese State Councilor and Foreign Minister Wang Yi met with figures from Japanese economic circles here Tuesday, including Sadayuki Sakakibara, current chairman of Keidanran or Japan Business Federation, and Hiroaki Nakanishi, who has been elected Keidanran's next leader.

Courting Trump "did Abe's image some good domestically for a while. but such efforts have not produced enough results if you look at things objectively", Professor Mieko Nakabayashi, an expert in US-Japan relations at Waseda University, told Agence France-Presse.

Abe told Japan's parliament last week he would ask Trump to seek elimination of all North Korean missiles that could reach Japan.

Chinese President Xi Jinping has announced recently the new measures for expanding China's reform and opening-up at the opening ceremony of the 2018 Boao Forum for Asia annual conference, and Chinese economy has been turning from development with high speed to development with high quality, all of which will provide important opportunities for China's cooperation with countries all over the world including Japan, he added.

Trump has forged close ties with Abe during his 15 months in power and the two have bonded over rounds of golf both during Abe's last visit to Florida more than a year ago and Trump's visit to Tokyo last November.

Another potential risk for Abe is that in Trump will agree to broach Japan's concerns with Kim, but only in return for concessions on trade.

Abe will likely try to get Trump to reverse his decision to include Japan in new steel and aluminum tariffs. "This is precisely the time when allies must join together on security matters to face North Korea".

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