- April 2, 2018
Last week, I reported about the growing concerns in the Japanese government about Trump`s moves in Asia-Pacific and his little interest for any special treatment of Japan. Japan certainly regards the U.S. as its most important foreign ally. But Trump`s recent decisions – be it on North Korea, import duties on steel or foreign trade overall – show that POTUS thinks otherwise.
For those interested in the topic, I recommend an interesting summary on Abe`s growing headache, which you can find here: https://www.politico.com/magazine/story/2018/04/01/japan-shinzo-abe-trump-world-217767
If the U.S. under Trump will indeed continue to visibly downgrade their relationship with Japan, this will have immense implications for Japan long-term in the years to come.
From a more short-term perspective, it is extremely bad news for Prime Minister Abe.
LDP presidential elections are looming in September and the Moritomo Gakuen land-sale scandal has had Abe`s popularity plunge massively and him standing now with the back to the wall.
Foreign diplomacy is Abe`s traditional stronghold. Hence his strategists had hoped that Abe would strike some achievements and score big in this area over the next months.
If Trump continues his current policies, he will likely deprive Abe of that chance and potentially throw open the LDP presidential race and impact the September elections in a big way. Whether intended or not remain opens – as so much with Trump.