Monday, November 21, 2016

Failure to Bow and Other Little Details: Trump Meets Abe

Last week Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe flew to Trump Tower in New York to meet with the new President-Elect. Right off the bat, Trump failed to show respect with his failure to bow (a detail not lost on the Japanese) and further violated protocols when meeting foreign dignitaries. This should come as no surprise as this demagogue who spoke harshly of Japan during the election suddenly comes face to face with our most concerned ally who he has promised to abandon. It's clear who is the amateur here. But let's not waste anymore type on a man who shows no respect for anyone or the office of which he by which through the help of his friends in the Kremlin helped win by illicit means (who during the campaign demanded his political rival be locked up for using an unsecured email server) has the downright gall to allow his daughter Ivanka in the room and talk on an unsecured cell phone. It's outrageous and downright embarrassing. Now for Mr. Abe. We know he is skilled at diplomatic poker as he has been seeking deals with both Russia and China. Our hope is that he will use Trump's own ignorance and lack of political experience to his advantage and for the benefit of Japan's interests. Trump wants to arm Japan with nuclear weapons but we doubt this will happen. Abe will have likely went to see this man to get assurances as to the state of our Pacific Alliance with Japan. What we are hoping for is an increase of political leverage on the part of Abe to scrap Article 9 and perhaps seek the acquisition of a nuclear carrier capable of carrying strike aircraft. If Trump is to follow through with his threats that will most undoubtedly destabilize our alliance with Japan, they will need those military upgrades. This of course will not be popular at home as are many of Abe's military policies but they are a necessity in the face of growing threats from the PRC and a rearmed Russia. But this is in the long term interests for Japan's security. Will Abe succeed? It is difficult to say at this early stage. Abe has to work with a dangerously loose cannon that has hired a junta of right wing extremists looking to start a war. As Trump himself has said "I love war." We certainly hope this does not happen. It is our hope that Abe can give Trump a pause and a heavy does of reality that can not be served in Trump Tower or anywhere else on this planet.

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