The recent bilateral meeting between Prime Minister of Japan Abe Shinzo and President of the United States of America Donald Trump ended with reconfirmation to keep the same policy direction and to shelve problems for a while. Prime Minister Abe was embarrassed with verbal performance of US President and the former tried to attract the latter’s attention by taking with him a souvenir, ‘mutual economic growth and job creation’. We must be alert on what will come next.
WHAT WILL COME AFTER SUMMIT MEETING OF US AND JAPAN’S LEADERS?
The recent summit meeting between the two leaders was an event in which the two politicians, both of whom infringe constitutions and the human rights in their own countries, respectively, expressed their views: President Trump kept his profit-and-loss business style, including threatening, while Premier Abe soothed the counterpart by proposing a huge sum of ‘economic cooperation plan’ and managed to reach his goal ostensibly ‘to reconfirm the alliance and endorse economic cooperation’.
Concrete policy decisions will come later, and many burdens will be imposed on Japan. Premier Abe is ready to translate challenges for his own sake.
Tight Alliance Emphasized
Mr. Trump demanded Japan to pay more to maintain the US forces in the country, hinting withdrawal, during the presidential campaign. It is far from right to think that the US forces might pull out of Japan, considering the US strategy and military architecture. In the summit meeting the leaders did not touch upon the issue. Premier Abe, who desires to siege China using US patronage, has pledged to intensify Japan’s military ‘roles, missions and capabilities’ in addition to the current unjustifiable expenses to host US bases in the country.
The US leader affirmed nuclear umbrella, defense of Japan including the Senkaku Islands, freedom of navigation in the South China Sea and opposition to any change in the status quo through the use of force ? these are the same as those of the previous US administrations. The US leader, after making reconfirmation, demanded the Japanese counterpart further military contribution, which the latter welcomed. Again, they have come back to the same track. In this context they agreed to enforce the new base construction plan in Henoko, Okinawa. But they will fail in ceasing untiring resistance of people of Okinawa.
Meanwhile President Trump had made a phone call to Chinese President Xi Jin-ping just before the summit meeting with Premier Abe to validate ‘One China’ and ‘bilateral cooperation’. He employs a Chinese card and a Japanese card separately. Even Premier Abe boasts of his ‘consolidation of Alliance’, he is estimated on the profit-and-loss basis so that US may keep world hegemony.
Contribution Policy to US Economy
President Trump insists on ‘America first’. Mr. Abe took a souvenir with him, the Japan-US initiative for growth and employment: that is to provide a market of 450 billion dollars (approximately 51 trillion Yen) and create 700 thousand jobs.
The plan includes infrastructure preparations, like a railway project in the US north-eastern region, market expansion of US natural gas, including the LNG (liquefied natural gas) markets in Asia, joint sales efforts of nuclear power plants, development of robots and AI (artificial intelligence), employment, and policy collaboration in the defense sector. Reportedly, Premier Abe demands Japanese employers to elaborate investment plans in the US and is ready for spending pension funds for the purpose.
These deals relate to Japan’s export performance to the US market. Nobody can tell how much the US external debts may decrease through these measures. As for concrete economic policies, including trade, Deputy Prime Minister Aso Taro and US Vice-president Pence will discuss later.
In the context of the US withdrawal from the TPP initiative, more rigid conditions can be imposed on Japan as ‘free and fair trade rules in the Asia-Pacific Region’ is emphasized.
Mr. Trump is accused of his chauvinism in the world, in addition to a fact that his order to ban entry of foreigners is suspended by the US federal court. It is simply cheap for him to greet Premier Abe who does not criticize him, instead, does praise, and give him a present. The two violent men produce a theatrical play of appalling honeymoon.
February 21, 2017