Can Japan Protect Its Interests in the Middle East Without Alienating Trump?

Can Japan Protect Its Interests in the Middle East Without Alienating Trump?
Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, the crown prince of Abu Dhabi, hold talks, United Arab Emirates, April 30, 2018 (Kyodo photo via AP).

Japan has been telegraphing its concerns to the United States about the potential impacts of the Trump administration’s decision last month to pull out of the Iran nuclear deal. One Japanese official recently acknowledged Tokyo’s anxieties that it may be forced to cut off Iranian oil imports, which have resumed after the nuclear agreement was inked in 2015 and currently total some 170,000 barrels per day. An official from Japan’s Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry recently indicated Tokyo does not want that to change and hopes for an exemption from sanctions the U.S. is preparing to impose again on Iran.

Japan’s frustration with Trump’s Iran move is evident. “Japanese companies don’t want to stop imports suddenly,” the official, Daisuke Hirota, stated. “The situation in the U.S. government is drastically changing every day.”

“We need to continue to keep imports,” he added, “and to keep imports from Iran we need to get information and communication with the U.S. government.”

Keep reading for free!

Get instant access to the rest of this article by submitting your email address below. You'll also get access to three articles of your choice each month and our free newsletter:

Or, Subscribe now to get full access.

Already a subscriber? Log in here .

What you’ll get with an All-Access subscription to World Politics Review:

A WPR subscription is like no other resource — it’s like having a personal curator and expert analyst of global affairs news. Subscribe now, and you’ll get:

  • Immediate and instant access to the full searchable library of tens of thousands of articles.
  • Daily articles with original analysis, written by leading topic experts, delivered to you every weekday.
  • Regular in-depth articles with deep dives into important issues and countries.
  • The Daily Review email, with our take on the day’s most important news, the latest WPR analysis, what’s on our radar, and more.
  • The Weekly Review email, with quick summaries of the week’s most important coverage, and what’s to come.
  • Completely ad-free reading.

And all of this is available to you when you subscribe today.