US President Trump travels to Japan to talk trade, security

World Today

The stalled diplomatic effort on the Korean Peninsula and a widening trade war are at the top of the agenda for the U.S. and Japan this weekend. U.S. President Donald Trump is en route for a state visit, the first to be hosted by Japan’s new Emperor Naruhito.

CGTN’s Jim Spellman has details.

President Trump is the first head of state to visit newly enthroned Emperor Naruhito, a sign of the close relationship between Japan and the United States. Trump will spend four days in Japan, meeting with the Emperor as well as Prime Minister Shinzo Abe.

“President Trump is deeply honored to be the first visitor of state to meet the new Emperor, very much looking forward to it, very much looking forward to seeing his good friend Prime Minister Abe and having a productive discussions on a range of very important issues,” said John Bolton, U.S. National Security Adviser.

Issue Number one: revising stalled denuclearization talks with the DPRK as Pyongyang ramps up its rhetoric against Washington. Japan may push for a larger role in negotiations.

Trade is also on the agenda. The U.S. and Japan are currently negotiating a trade deal and Prime Minister Abe is expected to push Trump for a deal that avoids tariffs on Japan’s lucrative auto exports. With trade tensions running high between the U.S. and China, a deal with Japan — especially one that gives U.S. farmers greater access to that country’s agricultural market — may look more attractive to Trump now than it did a few weeks ago.

The trip will likely yield more photo-ops than tangible agreements, but observers say the trip will help solidify the already close relationship between Trump and Abe.

“Of course, personal relationships are everything,” Dan McClory of Boustead Securities said. “I’m in the investment banking field. It’s no different in statecraft and geopolitics. Deals are people. Administrations come and go. People endure. So the bonds that have been created between Trump and Abe are really important.”

Trump and Abe are expected to play golf and Trump also scheduled to attend a championship sumo match in Tokyo where he will give the winner a custom-made trophy, apparently to be called the Trump Cup.

President Trump will end his trip with a visit to the Yokosuka military base for Monday’s Memorial Day U.S. holiday. He will meet U.S. troops, inspect a Japanese naval vessel and deliver a speech emphasizing the close strategic relationship between the U.S. and Japan.