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“Japan-U.S. alliance gives sense of security,” say ruling parties, opposition parties have concerns about economic negotiations

One after the other, members of the ruling parties have been giving high marks to the Nov. 6 Japan-U.S. summit meeting, where the two nations’ leaders agreed to place maximum pressure on North Korea. Meanwhile, the opposition parties have been expressing their concern about U.S. President Donald Trump’s reference to rectifying his country’s trade deficit with Japan.


Liberal Democratic Party Secretary-general Toshihiro Nikai said to reporters: “The strong alliance between Japan and the U.S. gives a sense of security to Asia and the world.” Nikai also thanked President Trump for meeting with Hitomi Soga, a former abductee to North Korea, and the families of the other Japanese abductees, saying, “President Trump showed the people of Japan and the world that he has a deep understanding of the abductions issue and he sympathized with the harsh suffering of the Japanese people.”


At a meeting on Nov. 6 with Japanese and American corporate executives, Mr. Trump commented that “American trade with Japan is not open and fair.” In response, Tetsuro Fukuyama, secretary-general of the Constitutional Democratic Party of Japan, said, “The Japanese market has a high level of transparency. I don’t accept President Trump’s statement. I want to see Prime Minister Shinzo Abe explain at the Diet what kinds of demands Mr. Trump made regarding trade.” Party of Hope Secretary-general Atsushi Oshima also commented: “I have concerns about the bilateral economic negotiations. Japan should not readily compromise with the United States.”


The opposition parties are also voicing doubts about Japan-U.S. policy toward North Korea. Secretary-general Fukuyama said, “I approve of increasing pressure, but I hope that the pressure will lead to dialogue and the option of military action can be avoided.”


At a press conference, Japanese Communist Party leader Kazuo Shii criticized [the summit meeting]: “There was absolutely no discussion of policies that would lead to a diplomatic solution. The meeting revealed that they have no policy. This is dangerous.”


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