Wednesday, 24 Jul 2019
OPINION

Trump-Abe: A special kind of diplomacy

Updated at Thursday, 30 May 2019, 10:33
The Hanoitimes - Abe`s special kind of diplomacy seemed to have succeeded.
Both US President Donald Trump and Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe were satisfied with the second visit of Mr. Trump to Japan. Next month, Trump will be there again to attend the G20 summit to be held in Osaka. Abe was hosted 3 times by Trump in America. That implied mutual confidence, close and effective relationship in the time not free of roughness between the US and Japan just to name a few, the intensification of bilateral trade conflict and the US's demands that Japan should pay more for its security and not continue to entirely rely on the US; or Japanese concerns that the US would bypass Japanese strategic and long-term interests when carrying out peace talks with North Korea.
 
Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and U.S. President Donald Trump renew their bond over golf in Palm Beach, Florida, on April 18. Photo: Nikkei
Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and U.S. President Donald Trump renew their bond over golf in Palm Beach, Florida, on April 18. Photo: Nikkei
Trump often acts and reacts impulsively as well as quickly changes his mind, but very consistently with his slogan "America First". That is why Abe from the beginning of Trump's presidency has been trying his all to win Trump's favor for himself and for Japan. His strategy is to please, even to pamper Trump, to convince Trump to believe that Japan is among the world countries with the most friendly minded to Trump and to the US. In return, Trump would not increase pressures on Japan in both trade and security issues, sign with Japan new economic and trade agreements as well as maintain security commitments to Japan, and of course not ignore Japan's concerns and interests towards North Korea.

Abe's special kind of diplomacy seemed to have succeeded. There is harmony in the atmosphere and consensus in the views between Trump and Abe on almost every item discussed by them. Trump believed that bilateral trade talks would be soon successfully concluded. Trump hailed the relations between the US and Japan now as "stronger, more powerful and closer than ever". They only disagreed with each other on the assessment of North Korea's new missile's launches. While Trump seemed not to care much about it, Abe took it seriously, but only with the aim to have Trump’s attention on Japan's deep concerns.

Trump’s latest trip to Japan did not open a new era in relationship between the US and Japan but consolidated it and made it to a very special one, of other kind and nature but much more special than the relationship between the US and the United Kingdom of Great Britain. Obviously Abe has found the proper way to deal with Trump.
Ambassador Tran Duc Mau
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