The Strategist

Shinzo Abe promises to budge Trump


12/29/2016 - 11:18



Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe will continue to persuade the US President-elect Donald Trump into concluding an agreement on the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TTP), reports Kyodo agency.



Abe said this to acting head of the White House Barack Obama during a meeting at the US Marine Corps Camp Smith before visiting Pearl Harbor.

According to Obama, the Japanese-American partnership is now stronger than ever. The two countries' alliance is a "cornerstone for peace and stability in the Asia-Pacific region, driving force for progress". 44th US president expressed hope that relations between the two countries in the future will only strengthen. 

Full content of the conversation between Obama and Abe has not been revealed, but it is known that Obama and Abe unanimously decided to closely monitor movements of Chinese aircraft carrier "Liaoning".

Prime minister of Japan outlined his country's readiness to continue transfer Marine Corps Air Station Futenma from the city of Ginowan Marines to Henoko district within Okinawa Prefecture.

Shinzo Abe is determined to ensure that the Trans-Pacific Partnership agreement entries into force, despite the fact that US President-elect Donald Trump announced his intention to refuse the partnership.

The TPP agreement, we recall, is designed to eliminate trade barriers between a number of dynamic emerging Asian economies, excluding China. The TPP cannot operate effectively without the United States, according to the Japanese authorities.

The agreement requires ratification of at least six countries, which account for 85% of the total GDP of the member states. Given size of the US economy, the transaction cannot take place without US participation. However, the US Congress has not ratified the document yet, and, worse even, Donald Trump has promised to initiate the country's exit from the TTP immediately after taking office on January 20, 2017.

Many experts say that the world is currently living in "Pax Americana", a concept of the post-war world in which the United States play the role of a host, policeman and the world’s chief banker. Many countries consider this state as a source of security and prosperity, so probability that the elected President may waive the existing system of alliances and regulations looks disturbing for some of them.

Trump has made a number of steps to alleviate this concern after the election. Those foreign leaders who have already spoken to him say that he cooperative and extremely balanced.

During his election campaign Trump has repeatedly hinted that Japan must either pay more for America’s protection, or to build its own nuclear arsenal. However, after meeting with President-elect on November 17, Japanese Prime Minister called Trump a "trustful leader with whom one can work successfully". 

Trump's views on the world order were formed in the 1980s., says Thomas Wright of the Brookings Institution. His view of life is quite different from that of any other American president since the end of World War II. "He is sure that many countries have turned the US into a cash cow by unfavorable trade agreements and excessive security obligations", - says Wright.

It is unlikely that the future administration will bring to life every loud statement of Trump. However, views of President-elected are frightening America's allies, said Mike Green of American Center for Strategic and International Studies. According to him, Trump’s problem lies in absence of skilled highly political advisers during his campaign. Green says most of international initiatives of President-elect are "simply not feasible".

source: kyodonews.jp, economist.com