The Saturday morning editions of all national dailies focused on Defense Secretary Mattis’s plan to step down, noting that U.S. allies and friends are worried about their ties with the Trump administration following the imminent departure of the Secretary since he has attached importance to Washington’s traditional alliances with Europe and Asia. Mainichi wrote that although the GOJ is calm on the surface, some Abe administration officials have voiced regret about Secretary Mattis’s departure because he is very knowledgeable about the security situation in Northeast Asia. An unnamed senior GOJ official reportedly said: “Secretary Mattis is the official whom we can most trust” within the Trump administration. Yomiuri quoted a diplomatic source based in Washington as saying: “The resignation of Secretary Mattis may embolden President Trump to step up his excessive demands on U.S. allies.”
In follow-up reports, all Tuesday morning papers wrote that Secretary Mattis will step down on Jan. 1 and Deputy Secretary Shanahan will become the acting Pentagon chief on the same day.