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U.S.-Japan alliance deepens under Trump administration

Saturday’s Sankei wrote that the GOJ has worked in concert with President Trump over the past year in ratcheting up the pressure on North Korea based on the strong relationship of trust between the President and Prime Minister Abe. Foreign Minister Kono commented at a press briefing on Friday on the first anniversary of the launch of the Trump administration by reportedly saying that the U.S.-Japan alliance has become stronger than ever. The paper noted that the two leaders met five times, spoke by phone 17 times, and played golf twice over the past year. The paper also wrote that the United States and Japan have cooperated closely in urging China, Russia, and South Korea to step up the pressure on North Korea and that the President expressed his agreement with the “free and open Indo-Pacific strategy” advocated by Abe. The paper also wrote that despite Japan’s concern over the possibility of “trade friction,” no major issues have emerged as the two nations have been discussing economic issues in their economic dialogue led by Vice President Pence and Deputy Prime Minister Aso. Saturday’s Nikkei and Yomiuri ran similar reports. However, Nikkei added that differences exist between Washington and Tokyo over trade issues and Yomiuri claimed that there is dissatisfaction on the U.S. side over the trade deficit with Japan.

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