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Experts discuss post-election U.S.-Japan relations

NHK’s “Nichiyo Toron” Sunday morning debate show aired a discussion by former Japanese Ambassador to the U.S. Ichiro Fujisaki, University of Tokyo Professor Fumiaki Kubo, Senior Fellow at the Center for American Progress Glen Fukushima, and Keio University Professor Yoshihide Soeya. While predicting that Hillary Clinton will win the U.S. presidential election, the discussants expressed their views about the American public’s dissatisfaction over growing socioeconomic disparities and their distrust of “inside-the-Beltway” politics. Fukushima stated that America will not take a protectionist approach because there is steady support among the American public, especially the young generation, for free trade, and Hillary Clinton believes in the benefits of free trade despite her campaign rhetoric opposing the TPP. Soeya speculated that the U.S. may seek revisions to the TPP agreement under the leadership of Clinton. Fujisaki argued that it is likely that the U.S. will ask its allies to make additional contributions to global security and that Japan should be prepared for this. Fukushima commented that America will not become “inward-looking” and that the administration led by Clinton will instead increase its involvement in international affairs. Fujisaki welcomed shifting changes in the focus of dialogue between the U.S. and Japan from bilateral issues to global challenges.

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