Donald Trump arrives in Japan to cement 'powerful' ties | Eurasia Diary -

17 August, Saturday

Donald Trump arrives in Japan to cement 'powerful' ties

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US President Trump has touched down in Tokyo, kicking off a four-day visit to the Far East. Trade will be the main focus of the trip, but sports and a meeting with the new Japanese emperor are also on the agenda.

US President Donald Trump landed in Tokyo on Saturday for a state visit that will be dominated by trade issues, but also include as centerpiece a meeting with Japan's new Emperor Naruhito.

The visit is also being touted by Japanese and US officials as a renewed sign of a warm relationship between Trump and Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe. Trump himself has said that their bond "has never been stronger, has never been more powerful, has never been closer."

Abe has recently returned from Washington and Trump himself will be going back to Japan in a month's time for the G20 leaders' summit in Osaka.

"Three visits in both directions in a short amount of time is really emblematic of just how close the relationship is," said a senior Trump official.

Trade, North Korea — and golf

The two are scheduled to discuss trade, as well as the threat posed by North Korea and its nuclear weapons program.

However, trade talks are likely to be fraught with simmering tensions, as Washington considers tariffs on Japanese auto exports seen by the Trump administration as a potential national security threat.

Trump said ahead of his arrival that he hoped to address the trade imbalance between the US and Japan.

Japan has a $70 billion (€62.5 billion) trade surplus with the US, which has been a source of some contention. However, it is minor compared with China's $379 billion surplus, which is at the root of a tariffs war between Washington and Beijing.

On a lighter note, the four-day trip will also see Trump take in a sumo wrestling event, enjoy fine dining in the Roppongi district of Japan's capital, meet with families of North Korean abductees, and enjoy the obligatory round of golf with the Japanese prime minister.

Imperial pomp

However, the main event is Trump's meeting on Monday with Japan's new Emperor Naruhito,who ascended the throne at the beginning of the month following the abdication of his father, Akihito.Naruhito will welcome Trump to the Imperial Palace and share a banquet in his honor.

"I'm the guest of honor at the biggest event that they've had in over 200 years," Trump said on the eve of his departure.

The planned encounter has raised some controversy in Japan, with protests taking place ahead of Trump's visit.

Deutsche Welle

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