Quantcast
Connect with us

Trump urges fairer trade with Japan at start of state visit

Published

on

President Donald Trump Saturday vowed to make the US trade relationship with Japan a “little bit more fair”, as he kicked off a four-day visit to Tokyo aimed at cementing ties between the two close allies.

Trump’s four-day trip is expected to feature plenty of warm words and images as he plays golf and watches sumo with his “friend” Shinzo Abe, Japan’s prime minister.

But the world’s top and third-biggest economies are also thrashing out a trade deal and Trump wasted no time in lashing out at what he sees as an imbalance between the pair.

“Japan has had a substantial edge for many, many years. But that’s OK, maybe that’s why you like us so much,” Trump told leaders from some of Japan’s leading companies, including Toyota, Honda and Nissan.

After a bilateral trade deal has been signed, it will be “a little bit more fair,” vowed the president.

“With this deal we hope to address the trade imbalance, remove the barriers to United States exports and ensure fairness and reciprocity in our relationship. We’re getting close,” said Trump.

ADVERTISEMENT

He added: “We hope to have several further announcements soon and some very big ones over the next few months.”

Some observers suspect Abe is rolling out the red carpet to present Japan as the most favourable of the countries currently engaged in trade disputes with Washington but little concrete progress is expected with elections looming for the Japanese PM.

Japanese and US officials hail as “unprecedented” the relationship between Trump and his “golf buddy” Abe, and the pair are scheduled to again find time for a round to burnish their diplomatic bromance.

Just over an hour before Trump arrived, a 5.1-magnitude earthquake rattled buildings in Tokyo, with the epicentre very close to where the leaders are due to tee off.

ADVERTISEMENT

The official centrepiece of the trip is Trump’s meeting on Monday with Japan’s new Emperor Naruhito, who only ascended the Chrysanthemum Throne at the beginning of the month following his father’s historic abdication for health reasons.

“With all the countries of the world, I’m the guest of honour at the biggest event that they’ve had in over 200 years,” said Trump before his departure.

But the visual highlight is more likely to be Trump’s visit on Sunday to the final day of the summer “basho” or sumo tournament where he is expected to present the trophy to the winner.

AFP / Brendan Smialowski Trump addressed business leaders shortly after landing

Japanese wrestler Asanoyama will receive the “president’s cup” — weighing 60-70 pounds (27-32 kilos) and measuring 54 inches (1.4 metres) — after his win as Trump was arriving on Saturday gave him a 12-2 record and put him out of reach on the final day.

ADVERTISEMENT

Trump’s appearance at the hallowed sumo hall has presented a logistical, security and protocol nightmare, ranging from where he sits to how he should be protected if the crowd start throwing chair pillows — as tradition dictates when a Grand Champion (yokozuna) falls.

The leaders will play golf before going to the sumo and then repair with their wives to a restaurant in Tokyo’s Roppongi entertainment district, where the menu features skewers of prime sirloin beef at 5,184 yen ($47) for two.

– ‘Never been closer’ –

Abe has just recently returned from Washington and Trump himself will be coming back to Japan in just over a month for the Group of 20 leaders’ summit in the western city of Osaka.

ADVERTISEMENT

The relationship between the former war-time foes “has never been stronger, has never been more powerful, has never been closer,” Trump said.

“This is an exciting time for commerce between the two countries that we both love.”

The formal diplomatic part of the trip is limited to a short bilateral meeting and a working lunch on Monday, after which the two leaders will brief the media.

They are also poised to meet families of people abducted by North Korea during the Cold War era to train Pyongyang’s spies, an emotive issue in Japan that Abe has pressed Trump to raise in talks with the North’s leader Kim Jong Un.

ADVERTISEMENT

JAPAN’S CABINET PUBLIC RELATIONS OFFICE VIA JIJI PRESS/AFP / Handout The relationship between Donald Trump and Shinzo Abe has been hailed as ‘unprecedented’ by Japanese and US officials

Trump will also address troops at a US base in Japan, highlighting the military alliance between the two allies at a time when tensions are running higher with North Korea after the failure of the Hanoi summit in February.

Hours before Trump landed, hawkish National Security Advisory John Bolton told local media there was “no doubt” Pyongyang’s recent missile tests had violated UN Security Council resolutions but insisted Washington is still ready to resume talks.

US Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer held talks with his Japanese counterpart on the sidelines of the visit but with Abe facing upper house elections in the coming months and Trump battling China, both are likely to avoid concessions.

Report typos and corrections to [email protected].
READ COMMENTS - JOIN THE DISCUSSION
Continue Reading

Breaking Banner

Trump’s horsewhip-carrying chief of protocol will resign after intimidating State Department staff: report

Published

on

President Donald Trump's chief of protocol plans to step down just ahead of the G-20 summit in Japan, according to Bloomberg News.

Sean Lawler, whose job includes assisting the president in diplomatic talks overseas and with foreign leaders in the White House, faces an investigation from the State Department's inspector general for intimidating subordinates, including carrying a horsewhip around the office.

The president reportedly did not care for Lawler, at one point asking officials why he still works at the White House.

Continue Reading

Breaking Banner

Jerry Falwell, Jr blasted as ‘un-Christian prat’ after trying to defend Donald Trump in battle with Southern Baptist ethics chief

Published

on

Liberty University President Jerry Falwell, Jr. was ripped online for attempting to rationalize President Donald Trump's detention camps for children.

Dr. Russell Moore, the president of the Southern Baptist Convention’s Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission, posted on Twitter an Associated Press story on the "perilous conditions" at a Texas Border Patrol station holding 300 children.

"The reports of the conditions for migrant children at the border should shock all of our consciences. Those created in the image of God should be treated with dignity and compassion, especially those seeking refuge from violence back home. We can do better than this," Moore wrote.

Continue Reading
 

CNN

Prosecutors offered indicted GOP congressman a deal to keep his multiple taxpayer-funded trysts quiet — but he refused

Published

on

On Tuesday, CNN reported that Rep. Duncan Hunter (R-CA), facing indictment for stealing campaign funds and falsifying spending reports, was offered a deal by to keep secret the incidents in which he used taxpayer money to finance affairs with lobbyists — but he refused.

"Prosecutors told a judge they tried to cut a deal with Hunter to avoid revealing the alleged tryst, but his attorneys refused," reported CNN's Tom Foreman.

The affairs were made public shortly after it was revealed that Hunter's wife Margaret, an alleged co-conspirator in the scheme, was cooperating with prosecutors. Hunter had previously tried to blame the entire scheme on his wife — a claim that looks increasingly dubious.

Continue Reading
 
 

Copyright © 2019 Raw Story Media, Inc. PO Box 21050, Washington, D.C. 20009 | Masthead | Privacy Policy | For corrections or concerns, please email [email protected]

 ENOUGH IS ENOUGH 

Trump endorses killing journalists, like Washington Post columnist Jamal Khashoggi. Online ad networks are now targeting sites that cover acts of violence against dissidents, LGBTQ people and people of color.

Learn how you can help.
close-link