"As far as Japan is concerned however, this trip is more of the developing bromance between President Trump and Prime Minister Abe."
President Trump is over in the Land of the Rising Sun visiting one of his new BFF's. That would be Japan and Prime Minister Shinzo Abe. The talks they will have will center around something we have yet to come to agreement on - the trade imbalance between our two countries. And something on which we have violent agreement on - what to do with the Norks. Of all the places Donald Trump is going to visit on this trip, this stop interests me the most.
First trade. We have our second biggest trade deficit with the country of Japan. True, it is somewhat paltry at $69B compared to what we have with China, but it still needs to be fixed. We make many things which Japan could use. High value items. One of their biggest imports to us is - you guessed it - cars. Been like that since just about forever. Somehow President Trump needs to convince Abe to pare down this deficit without hurting their economy. The last thing we need to do right now is hurt Japan's economy.
Next the Norks. Prime Minister Abe takes the Nork threat about as serious as a heart attack. After all, the Norks have overflown his territory with missiles - twice. Oh yes - the little chubby kid has also threatened to nuke Tokyo. Now Japan knows that the United States will stand with them should the Norks attack. And Japan has procured some state of the art BMD (Ballistic Missile Defense) items from us for protection. That being said, there has been some talk around the Japanese Diet (Parliament) about changing their Constitution. Changing it to allow Japan to house nuclear weapons on their soil.
It is ironic that the only country to suffer under the fire and death of nuclear weapons is now this close with the country which used those weapons against them. Strange bedfellows indeed. One of the reasons the Japanese Constitution might be difficult to change is fear. Many Japanese never, ever want their country to go back to what it was prior to World War II. This is a country which seeks peace and prosperity. The people who live in Japan are some of the nicest and most hospitable people I have met in all my travels. To become a member of the nuclear "club" would definitely be a sea change for the good people who call Japan home.
In any event, this far eastern trip, albeit long, was necessary. Good stops, with a good agenda. I will address my thoughts on the China stop in a subsequent article. That one could produce some fireworks. As far as Japan is concerned however, this trip is more of the developing bromance between President Trump and Prime Minister Abe. And that - is all good.