Now that President Donald Trump has cancelled Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) agreements which is a huge win for China, Japan is being forced to rethink its relationship to the U.S. in light of those around Shinzo Abe pushing to have Shinzo Abe be the first head of state to meet with President Trump. It appears now likely that the U.S. backing out of TPP will jeopardize what has been referred to as “Abenomics”. To avert “trouble” as this article points out, which might be a possibility between Japan and the U.S., another meeting has been arranged for Shinzo Abe to meet with President Trump next month and no doubt TPP will be the subject of their meeting especially since Shinzo Abe’s next election depends on his salvaging anything he can from the cancelled TPP agreement.
Source: Asian Review
Lack of a ‘Trump-phone’ spells trouble for Abe
US ties have served Japan’s past leaders well, but the current PM has his work cut out
ITARU OISHI, Nikkei senior staff writer
January 27, 2017
TOKYO — Well into his second stint in office, things appeared to be ticking along just fine for Shinzo Abe. The unusually long-serving Japanese prime minister still enjoys plenty of public support and there is little in the way of a credible opposition, much less the threat of a leadership challenge from within his Liberal Democratic Party.
The election of Donald Trump, however, has thrown a major wrench in the works, and one that came from perhaps the least expected source. Relations with his new American counterpart could prove hugely disruptive for the Abe government.
While criticism of Japan being subservient to the U.S. undoubtedly exists, many in the country feel reassured by having a leader with close ties to the U.S. president.
Toshiki Kaifu, Japan’s prime minister from 1989 to 1991, is said to have taken full advantage. Lacking strong support within the LDP, Kaifu often touted his closeness to then-U.S. President George H.W. Bush. Their frequent phone conversations led the Nikkei to coin the term “Bush-phone.” The word became so popular that it got the silver medal in a 1990 word-of the-year contest.
Please go to the Asian Review to read the entire article.