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Japan bracing for possibility of President Trump mentioning FTA talks

Most weekend papers wrote that GOJ officials are afraid that President Trump will mention the need to launch bilateral FTA talks during his planned summit with Prime Minister Abe on Monday. The papers speculated that if the President actually refers to a bilateral FTA, Tokyo may be forced to conduct a review of its policy of seeking the U.S.’s return to the TPP. Asahi said the Trump administration appears to be adamant on pursuing the President’s “America First” policy, quoting an unnamed senior USG official as saying: “The President has made it clear that he prioritizes bilateral negotiations.” Yomiuri said since public approval of the Trump administration remains very low, the President may be tempted to take a hard line toward Japan on the trade front so as to please his base at home.   

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