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Abe sent large delegation to Chinese forum as hedge against Sino-U.S. reconciliation

Nikkei delved into Prime Minister’s decision to send to China’s “One-Belt, One-Road” economic forum last week a large delegation led by LDP Secretary General Nikai, interpreting what it called the “all-Japan” delegation including the premier’s top aide Imai as Abe’s overture to Beijing as a hedge against possible rapprochement between the U.S. and China. The paper said although Abe and President Trump have successfully built strong personal bonds, the consensus in the Japanese government is that the U.S. leader is “unpredictable.” Some GOJ officials are afraid that Washington may be inclined to take a soft approach toward Beijing in exchange for eliciting its cooperation on North Korea. It added that PM Abe should take advantage of the coming G7 summit to keep President Trump on the side of nations sharing the universal values of democracy, freedom, and human rights so that the U.S. leader will not be tempted to sideline Japan in managing relations with China.     

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