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HOME  > Past issues  > 2017 February 1 - 7  > PM Abe’s ‘world map’ shows only the United States
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2017 February 1 - 7 [POLITICS]

PM Abe’s ‘world map’ shows only the United States

February 2, 2017
Prime Minister Abe Shinzo is advocating “diplomacy that takes a panoramic perspective of the world map”. However, it seems that the “world map” put up in his office depicts only the United States.

Many U.S. allies are voicing criticism of President Donald Trump’s recent order barring most citizens from seven mainly Muslim Mideast and East African nations from entering the United States. In contrast, PM Abe is practically endorsing Trump, saying, “I’m in no position to make a comment on that issue as it is an immigration control policy and the internal affairs of the United States.”

In November 2016, in defiance of the strong public opposition, the ruling coalition railroaded through the Diet the bill to ratify the TPP free trade agreement. During the Diet deliberations on the TPP, Abe repeatedly claimed that Japan’s ratification will prompt the incoming U.S. government to join the multilateral economic framework.

However, Trump signed an executive action to withdraw the U.S. from the TPP pact immediately after he assumed the Presidency in January 2017. Trump declared that his administration will instead conduct bilateral negotiations with its counterparts in order to realize his “America First” policy.

After that, PM Abe suddenly lost his poise. He said in the Diet in late January, “I won’t deny the possibility of bilateral negotiations with Washington,” “Having economic dialogue is extremely meaningful and a strong America will benefit Japan as well.”

The Abe government earlier showed its “understanding” of the resumption of flight training exercises of the U.S. Osprey tilt-rotor aircraft, one of which crashed in Okinawa last December. It also hints at positively responding to Trump’s probable demand for a significant increase in Japan’s payment of expenses for the U.S. Forces stationed in Japan.

There is no limit to PM Abe’s “Japan-U.S. Alliance First” approach.

Past related article:
> JCP Chair Shii issues statement on Trump’s presidency [January 22, 2017]
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