Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe has accomplished what no other foreign leaders has with US President Donald Trump. Not only has he already met him twice — once before and again just after the inauguration — but Trump appears to genuinely like Abe.
Of course, the state of US-Japan relations is far from worry-free. On security policy, the Trump Administration — first Secretary of Defense James Mattis, followed by Trump himself — has affirmed that the Senkaku Islands are included in the US commitment to defend Japan under Article 5 of US-Japan Mutual Security Treaty. But there is a lingering concern that the Administration may use this as leverage vis-a-vis China, because it is seen as being willing to strike economic or other deals with Beijing at Japan’s expense.
This article was originally published in The Interpreter on February 28, 2017. Read the full article here.