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U.S. diplomacy may become conciliatory following departure of NSA Bolton

All national dailies gave prominent coverage to President Trump’s decision to dismiss National Security Advisor Bolton, projecting that the departure of a “foreign policy hawk” may allow President Trump to take a conciliatory line toward North Korea, Iran, and other foes. Asahi conjectured that the U.S. leader apparently regarded his top security advisor as an “obstacle” to achieving diplomatic accomplishments early in the run-up to the presidential election next year since Bolton opposed many of his diplomatic overtures. While claiming that Bolton served as a check on what it called the President’s “improvisational” diplomatic decision-making, the daily projected that President Trump will probably become the dominant force in the U.S.’s foreign policy apparatus. The daily expressed concern that the Trump administration may be inclined to take a softer approach toward the denuclearization of North Korea and make concessions at the expense of Japanese interests. Pointing out that Bolton was very close to National Security Secretariat Secretary General Yachi, who will step down, the article conjectured that the concurrent departure of the two officials may weaken bilateral coordination on North Korea and other pressing diplomatic issues.   

 

Other papers carried similar analytical pieces, with Yomiuri spotlighting speculation by a well-known Japanese academic that Bolton’s departure will probably allow Prime Minister Abe to redouble his efforts to arbitrate between the U.S. and Iran. However, the scholar expressed concern that Japan’s national security could be undermined if President Trump eases the pressure on the Kim regime.   

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