Japan and China resumed economic dialogue

Japan and China resumed economic dialogue

The Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe is leaving on a U.S. trip this week for a meeting with Trump to discuss trade plans and meeting with the North Korean leader Kim Jong-un. As cracks in both materialize, that's where the Mar-a-Lago summit becomes important, he continued. The frequent change of personnel at the White House and at the U.S. State Department has left Tokyo officials frustrated with the delays, the Japanese press report states.

As my colleagues report, the Trump administration has recently ruffled feathers in Tokyo.

Even when Abe was engulfed in a scandal during last October's general election, he still engineered a landslide victory "in part because the public recognized his leadership on national security issues in the face of the increased threat from North Korea and concerns about China's rise", the CSIS note said.

Abe also will likely seek a reversal of the decision not to exclude Japan from new steel and aluminum tariffs, while resisting Trump's attempts to pull Japan into bilateral trade negotiations.

They also said they would coordinate closely on the proposed 16-nation Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership pact that includes the Asean countries along with Australia, India, New Zealand and South Korea so as to "unify the East Asian economic area".

Another golf outing, as at their Mar-a-Lago and Tokyo meetings in 2017, is being planned, a Japanese official said. The talks on Sunday stopped short of setting a date for Chinese President Xi Jinping to visit Japan. This year, he seems to be mired in a much bigger trap, of his own making.

"Abe will want to know what Trump's trying to get out of the meeting and what he's willing to offer", Schoff said. Organizers said 50,000 had participated by the time the demonstration ended.

Taro Aso, the finance minister and deputy prime minister, resisted calls to resign over the admission, a move that would have been politically fatal for Abe, analysts said. Abe has never issued a critical statement about Trump.

Japan fears that its interests may be given short shrift and Abe therefore wants to make sure Trump doesn't cut a deal with Kim that leaves Japan exposed to shorter-range missiles that do not threaten the United States mainland. Although it's unlikely that there will be any let up in the global sanctions imposed against the North Korean regime for the time being, Tokyo is concerned that its interests may be neglected in the event of an understanding between North Korea and the US. Japan, as before, will try to persuade Trump to raise the issue of kidnapped people and other human rights issues during the talks with Kim. The rows come as Abe prepares to stand later this year for reelection as party leader, a vote he was once expected to win handily. "So Abe should tell Trump that Japan and the US need to act as one and urge Trump to understand Japan's position on North Korean issues, as well as economic issues". The turn in North Korea's policy, expressed by Kim's conciliatory remarks, is regarded in Tokyo as a result of the maximum pressure strategy against the DPRK, which Japan always supported. Although Kim may have nuclear missiles capable of hitting the West Coast of the United States, North Korea has already demonstrated many times over that it can rain ballistic horror on Japan any time it chooses. "The risk of a transactional "America First" foreign policy is that it plants doubts on allies as to whether joint interests will guide American strategy and actions", wrote Mireya Solis of the Brookings Institution. "Prime Minister Abe needs this reassurance, but will Trump provide it?"

The Japanese prime minister will make his second visit to Trump's Palm Beach, Florida estate, when the focus will be on trade and security. Despite comfortably winning a new mandate in parliamentary elections a year ago, Abe's grip on power is slipping as he faces a pair of spiraling domestic scandals involving allegations that he helped friends at two educational institutions get special treatment from the government.

The prime minister has repeatedly denied any wrongdoing.

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