Japan's Abe to meet with Trump as scandals swirl at home

Japan's Abe to meet with Trump as scandals swirl at home

Moreover, the USA president's decision to meet with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un without consulting Abe sparked fears of Japan being sidelined during nuclear negotiations - an alarming prospect for a country in immediate range of Pyongyang's missiles. He will need to listen carefully to Abe's worries about the summit with Kim, and he will need to find a good approach to claiming victory on trade with Japan. It may serve as a welcome reprieve for the duo: Abe and Trump are both weathering scandals at home, with investigators and journalists poring over evidence of both leaders' alleged cronyism. Five have been returned to Japan. "If Trump makes rapid progress in his talks with Kim, that could put Abe in a very disadvantageous position".

The summit agenda is expected to be quite rich.

"I think Abe has discovered the limits of personal diplomacy with an erratic character like Trump who prioritises America first, not the alliance", Professor Kingston said.

What worries Abe, as well as the Japanese people and the larger foreign relations community, is that Trump, in his desire to broker a deal breaking through a long stalemate, will settle for something that could leave the region vulnerable, and no one more so than Japan. Kono said Japan would be willing to pursue projects within the network that "meet the standards of the global community".

Kono was speaking to reporters after the first high-level economic dialogue between Japan and China in more than seven years. "You guarantee the survival of our regime, which means you pull back your troops, your sanctions".

State Councilor Wang Yi, was reportedly uninterested in helping Japan bring up the issue of North Korean abductions of Japanese citizens, one diplomatic source told Asahi. Worsening U.S. relations with Moscow also limit Abe's ability to negotiate a peace treaty with Russian leader Vladimir Putin-a project that has stalled as Russia's relations with Europe and the United States have worsened. Pyongyang has acknowledging abducting 13 Japanese in the late 1970s and early '80s, while Tokyo maintains North Korea abducted 17. Japan has not been satisfied with North Korea's explanation and has demanded further investigation. "If he meets directly with Kim Jong Un, he might say something he shouldn't, or something spontaneously".

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China has replaced the U.S.as the number one trading partner for most nations in Asia, even those that have military alliances with the US, like South Korea, Japan and Australia.

Then there's the matter of trade.

China and Japan resumed high-level economic talks on April 16 after a hiatus of almost eight years in a sign of improving ties in their often-frosty relationship. Mr Trump also did not exempt Japan from the metal tariffs, in what some described as a "humiliation" for Tokyo.

"Obviously, the president has got a great relationship there", said White House press secretary Sarah Sanders looking forward to meetings this Tuesday and Wednesday. Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe waves with his wife Akie Abe while boarding his plane before departure for the U.S.at Haneda global airport in Tokyo Tuesday, April 17, 2018.

"Long-distance relationships are complicated, and the stakes of their second rendezvous at Mar-a-Lago this week are high", said Mireya Solis of the Brookings Institution.

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