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Japan paying attention to Trump impeachment

Tokyo, Dec. 19 (Jiji Press)–The Japanese government is keeping a close eye on how things will develop over the upcoming impeachment trial of U.S. President Donald Trump.


The chances that Trump will be removed from office are slim despite the U.S. House of Representatives’ vote Wednesday to impeach him.


But Trump may strengthen his hard-line diplomatic stance before the presidential race next year if the impeachment process hurts public support for his administration.


“I’d like to refrain from any comment because this is a matter of a foreign country’s domestic affairs,” Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga told a news conference Thursday.


Suga made no comment on the possible impact of the move on Japan-U.S. relations.


One of the biggest concerns to Japan is that Trump could press Tokyo to pay more costs for U.S. military bases in Japan in planned negotiations next year.


Also, Washington may urge Japan to start another round of trade talks following the recent conclusion of a bilateral trade deal, which will take effect Jan. 1, 2020.


A lot will “depend on the course of U.S. public opinion,” a Japanese government official said.


If uncertainty increases over the U.S. presidential race, the country’s trade negotiations with China and denuclearization talks with North Korea may get bogged down as the Asian countries are likely to take a wait-and-see stance, pundits said.


Many other nations also “would look at the United States in a different way,” said a senior official of the Japanese Foreign Ministry.

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