PM Shinzo Abe of Japan says “Great Confidence” after meeting President-elect Donald Trump
Noriko Watanabe and Lee Jay Walker
Prime Minister Shinzo Abe of Japan became the first foreign political leader to meet President-elect Donald Trump since he beat Hillary Clinton in the presidential election. Despite the substance of the talks remaining unknown – and with constraints being put on Donald Trump until he takes office – it is clear that Abe deemed the meeting to be a great success. Therefore, he issued having “Great Confidence” in Trump.
It is known that Trump opposes the Trans-Pacific Partnership trade deal contrary to Abe being in firm favor. Yet, many in Japan have doubts about this trade deal despite internal members of Abe’s ruling party supporting the prime minister of Japan.
Of course, it remains to be seen if Trump will follow up on his comments in the past, therefore, he must tread a fine balance between maintaining close relations with important allies, including Japan, while not alienating the grass roots that remained loyal to him, despite all the negative media coverage. With this in mind, no real substance is known about the long-term repercussions of the meeting between Abe and Trump apart from confidence building.
Abe said, “We were able to have a very candid talk over a substantial amount of time. We held it in a very warm atmosphere… I do believe that without confidence between the two nations the alliance would never function in the future and as the outcome of today’s discussion I am convinced Mr Trump is a leader in whom I can have great confidence.”
The BBC says, “The Japanese leader gave few details of the meeting but added the two agreed to meet again for deeper talks on a wider range of issues.”
Abe will take personal pride in being the first international leader to meet Trump in person after his electoral victory. In Japan, this sign will be deemed positive because it shows the strong bonds between both nations. Of course, in time, differences will most likely emerge in certain areas. On another positive note, Trump promises to reset the button with the Russian Federation and this will be welcomed in Japan. In turn, this will boost relations between Japan and the Russian Federation. Therefore, it is hoped in Tokyo that developments will remain firmly on track between America and Japan irrespective of certain misgivings that may emerge. Overall, a positive meeting took place between Abe and Trump and hopefully in time real substance will emerge.
Modern Tokyo News is part of the Modern Tokyo Times group