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Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe during a press conference after meeting with President-elect Donald Trump, New York, Nov. 17, 2016 (AP photo by Kathy Willens).

Japan Sees Opportunities, but Still Steels Itself for the Trump Era

Thursday, Dec. 8, 2016

Donald Trump’s surprising election victory has been met with caution around the world as America’s friends and rivals try to gauge the future direction of U.S. foreign policy under the new administration. In Japan, whose cornerstone relationship with Washington helps guide U.S. strategy in Asia, Trump’s win has elicited pause and an intense effort to shore up Japanese interests. Prime Minister Shinzo Abe was quick to send a congratulatory cable to the president-elect, lauding his victory and indulging him by complimenting his acumen as a successful businessman.

Abe followed up with a shrewd move to arrange a face-to-face meeting with Trump last month, hastily arranged as a stopover during his trip to Peru to attend the leader’s summit of the Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) meetings. It was Trump’s first meeting with a foreign leader. The Abe administration has been cagey about the details of the meeting but did stress that there was “confidence” in Trump and his appreciation of the importance of the U.S.-Japan alliance. ...

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