Wednesday, 25 April, 2018

Japan PM Abe may quit in June

Japan PM Abe may quit in June Japan PM Abe may quit in June
Lillian Steele | 17 April, 2018, 18:44

He will ask Trump to take up the issue when the USA president meets with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un to discuss denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula.

It isn't just that both men are weighed down by political troubles at home - Abe by a land-sale scandal and Trump by a persistent investigation involving Russian Federation and his sexual indulgences.

Japanese officials said Abe and Trump might also discuss the Trans-Pacific Partnership, after Trump indicated last week that the United States might be interested in rejoining what is now an 11-country trade agreement. His popularity has sunk as his administration has been dogged by scandals that drew 50,000 people on to the streets of Tokyo to demand his resignation.

But with Abe's approval rating languishing at its lowest level in years and Trump mired in controversies and crises too numerous to list, both are under pressure. Hence, it is heartening to see Prime Minister Shinzo Abe not abiding by the anti-Russian Federation narrative of America and the United Kingdom respectively.

Crowds of protesters demonstrated near parliament on Saturday, holding signs saying "Abe is Over" and chanting "Abe quit!"

"Anxiety has grown in Tokyo over the prime minister's "special relationship" with Trump", she said.

"But it is the stickiest period he has faced since returning to the premiership, without question", he said.

That being said, the U.S is still a more important overall economic partner for many in Asia. He also is expected to ask the US leader to raise with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un the issue of Japanese abducted by North Korea.

Out of consideration for voters in farming states, President Trump reaffirmed last week that the USA could return to the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) - the ambitious free trade agreement of the Pacific Rim countries negotiated by President Barack Obama's administration - if there was a "substantial improvement" for the US. One of those tests came when Abe and Trump were dining at their first Mar-a-Lago summit. He will need to listen carefully to Abe's worries about the summit with Kim, and he will need to find a good approach to claiming victory on trade with Japan.

Separately, the Defense Ministry has acknowledged mishandling documents related to a former peacekeeping mission in South Sudan, and a top Finance Ministry official has been accused of sexual harassment.

Abe's hawkish posture seems to have backfired, however, with both Seoul and Washington pursuing engagement with Pyongyang.

Professor Green said there was no meaningful significance in North Korea's position - and any wrong move could put the region, including Australia, at risk. "It has even tried reopening independent contacts with Pyongyang, and is conducting fence-mending diplomacy with China now", Graham said. Tokyo had worked throughout 2017 to ensure the U.S. -Japan alliance was militarily prepared to respond to a missile attack, at times synchronizing exercises with those of the U.S. and South Korean militaries.

"I want to reaffirm our cooperation on North Korea, our cooperation on economic matters, and show the strong ties between our two countries", Abe told reporters in Tokyo before his departure.

Under pressure from Republican lawmakers and governors from farm states last week, Trump asked his top economic advisers to take another look at the TPP, which Japan and other countries revived after the U.S. exit.

Kono said Sunday that he and Wang agreed to improve ties by having their leaders pay mutual visits, starting with a visit next month to Japan by Chinese Premier Li Keqiang for a trilateral summit involving South Korean President Moon Jae-in. Firstly, the United States president seems to have suddenly made a U-turn and given up his hardline stance, which Abe always backed, against North Korea.

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