U.S. President Donald Trump’s agreement to meet North Korea’s leader looked likely to fan Japanese angst over being sidelined, although Prime Minister Shinzo Abe said on Friday there was no diplomatic daylight between Tokyo and Washington, Reuters reported.
According to NBC, President Donald Trump has suggested that his highly anticipated meeting with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un might result in “the greatest deal for the world.”
But here in Tokyo, the government is worried about the possibility of Trump striking an agreement to curtail the North’s ability to hit the U.S. mainland without addressing the shorter-range missiles that can reach Japan.
Trump is expected to raise the abduction issue when he meets with Kim in late May or early June, although the main focus is still expected to be the regime’s nuclear and ballistic missile programs.
“The Japanese people should be concerned about slight differences of priorities between the United States and Japan,” said Mieko Nakabayashi, a professor in U.S.-Japan relations at Waseda University in Tokyo.
Japan, she said, was “watching very carefully” to see whether Trump would pursue the same objective of Kim giving up his nuclear program and weapons, or whether he might be attracted to a more flexible deal based on U.S. domestic political considerations.
Japan is showing little faith in The United States, and President Trump, in supporting their best interest. However, Prime Minister Shinzo Abe should keep in mind that these historical talks are only the beginning and that Japan is still an American asset.
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