Japan warns against Trump's potential deals with China
Japan, America's key ally in Asia, is sounding alarms over Donald Trump's potential to disrupt the strategic balance with China. With Trump leading some polls as the frontrunner for November's presidential election, Tokyo is proactively engaging with his associates, concerned about any trade or security agreements between the US and China that might undo efforts to counter Beijing's influence.
In recent weeks, Japan has intensified outreach efforts, including attempting to arrange a meeting between Trump and a senior member of the ruling party. This move, part of Japan's broader strategy to communicate its stance, comes as Prime Minister Fumio Kishida prepares for a state visit to the US, invited by President Joe Biden.
Japanese officials, speaking anonymously due to the sensitivity of the matter, express fears that a Trump presidency could seek agreements with China, undermining the G7's collective stance against Beijing. They recall Trump's 2019 trade deal with China, his admiration for authoritarian leaders, and his approach to North Korea as indicators of potential policy shifts that could impact regional stability.
Concerns also extend to Trump possibly compromising US support for Taiwan, emboldening Beijing's aggressive posture towards the island. Despite no recent interactions between Trump and Japanese officials being confirmed, Trump's ambiguous comments on Taiwan's defense and his protectionist trade tendencies have Tokyo on edge.
Japan's diplomatic efforts aim to anticipate and mitigate any resurgence of issues from Trump's previous term, including trade tariffs and increased financial demands for US military presence. Amidst these challenges, Japan remains focused on maintaining the strength of the US-Japan alliance and navigating the complexities of Trump's potential return to power.