US President Trump has gone out of his way to provide a gushing welcome to Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, who began a two-day state visit to the US yesterday with discussions between the two men and a joint press conference. While both leaders were effusive about the relationship between Japan and the US, the tensions and uncertainties remain.
Abe—the first world leader to meet Trump in November after his election win—was seeking reassurances over Japan’s longstanding military alliance with the United States, as well over economic ties between the two countries. In the course of his election campaign, Trump questioned the US alliances with Japan and South Korea and accused both of unfair trade practices.
Yesterday, however, Trump hugged Abe, saying later that was “because we have a very, very good bond. Very, very good chemistry. I’ll let you know if it changes but I don’t think it will.” During Abe’s visit, the two men are due to dine with each other four times, fly together on Air Force One and play a round of golf at the president’s resort in South Florida.
At their press conference, Trump declared:
“The bonds between our two nations and the friendship between our two peoples is very, very deep. This administration is committed to bringing these ties even closer.”
A joint statement reaffirmed the US-Japan Security Treaty, including its coverage of the disputed Senkaku islets, known as Diaoyu in China, in the East China Sea. It declared…