Editor in Chief: Moh. Reza Huwaida Sunday, August 18th, 2019

Trump Arrives in Tokyo for State Visit, Golf and Sumo

Trump Arrives in Tokyo for State Visit, Golf and Sumo

TOKYO — President Donald Trump needled Japan over the U.S.-Japan trade imbalance as he kicked off a state visit to the country Saturday that’s been tailor-made to his whims and ego.
Speaking at a reception with several dozen Japanese and American business leaders at the U.S. ambassador’s residence in Tokyo shortly after his arrival, Trump said the U.S. and Japan “are hard at work” negotiating a new bilateral trade agreement that he said would benefit both countries.
“I would say that Japan has had a substantial edge for many, many years, but that’s OK,” Trump told the group, joking that, “Maybe that’s why you like me so much.”
The comments underscored the competing dynamics of a state visit designed to show off the deep ties between the U.S. and Japan and the close friendship between Trump and Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, even as tensions are high.
Abe has rolled out the carpet for Trump as part of a continued charm offensive, giving him the honor of being the first head of state invited to meet Emperor Naruhito since he ascended to the throne on May 1. Trump will also play golf with Abe and have the chance to present a “Trump Cup” at a sumo wrestling championship Sunday.
While the visit is expected to be largely ceremonial, the stakes are also high. Trump is threatening Japan with potentially devastating U.S. tariffs on foreign autos and auto parts, and has suggested he will go ahead with the tariffs if U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer doesn’t manage to wrest concessions from Japan and the European Union.
Trump had predicted that a U.S.-Japan trade deal could be finalized during his trip. But that’s highly unlikely given the two sides are still figuring out the parameters of what they will negotiate. (AP)