Monday’s Sankei claimed in a front-page story that although coordination had been underway between the GOJ and the USG for President Trump to make an official state to visit Japan in September, the idea has apparently been put on hold due in part to scheduling conflicts. According to several sources involved in bilateral relations, Japan proposed that the U.S. leader make a trip to Japan in early September to demonstrate the strong bilateral alliance in order to counter North Korea’s provocations. However, this idea was found problematic from the standpoint of crisis management since North Korea may be tempted to conduct a nuclear test around that time to “celebrate” the anniversary of the foundation of the republic on Sept. 9. Arranging a trip in mid- or late-September was also deemed difficult given Prime Minister Abe’s busy diplomatic schedule, including planned trips to Russia, India, and New York.
While it is widely believed that the President will make his first trip to Japan in November when he attends the APEC leaders’ meeting in Vietnam, the article claimed that Japan and the U.S. may try to arrange a visit at an earlier date while paying close attention to the North Korean situation. The article added that the White House is cautious about arranging an extended overseas trip for President Trump out of concern for the potential effect on his health.