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Abe capitalizes on ties with President Trump in diplomacy with other nations

Nikkei wrote that Prime Minister Abe has been conducting balanced diplomacy with major foreign partners such as China, Russia, and France by taking advantage of his close bonds with President Trump. The paper noted that as the premier is expected to chair the G20 next year, he appears to be eager to exercise strong leadership in order to call attention to Japan’s role as a leading advocate of free trade prior to the Upper House election next summer. The paper claimed that German Chancellor Merkel and other European leaders who used to play key roles in maintaining balance between the U.S., China, and Russia have lost their diplomatic clout due to problems at home and this has allowed the Japanese leader to enjoy the limelight in global diplomacy. While speculating that Russian President Putin and Chinese President Xi have extended overtures to Abe perhaps on account of his strong connections with the U.S. leader, the daily warned that Moscow and Beijing may lose interest in reaching out to Tokyo if they are able to improve their ties with the Trump administration. The daily also mentioned the possibility that President Trump could at some point turn critical of Japan. 

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