Tokyo's afraid Donald Trump may test the US relationship with Japan this week at a summit with Prime Minister Shinzo Abe on Tuesday. That's according to a Japanese lawmaker source who spoke to Reuters. After a Trump tweet last week said Japan has hit the US, quote, hard on trade for years.
The big fear is that as Trump prepares to meet with Kim Jong-un next month, the president may try to link North Korea issues with a new US, Japan trade deal. Reuters Gerry Doyle has been following the story.>> The Japanese government is concerned that Trump, who has had a very sort of transactional relationship with a lot of countries in the world won't pull that same sort of approach with Japan, in meeting with Abe, that he might insist that there's a connection between trade talks and security talk with Japan.
Abe wants Trump to bring up Japanese citizens kidnapped by Pyongyang years ago, but Tokoyo is worried that may only happen if they hand Trump a trade concession. Japan also wants to avoid a North Korea missile deal with the US that still puts Japan in harm's way. Well primarily Abe is concerned that in meeting with Kim Jong-un, the United States is gonna focus almost entirely on how North Korea can attack or inflict harm on the United States.
Whereas it already has a fairly sizable arsenal of missiles, they can hit Japan. Japan would like the US to be able to take that into account, and perhaps negotiate away some of North Korea's ability to strike Japan. But if they're not able to meet some sort of agreement with Trump on trade, or other issues at this summit with Abe this week, that might not happen
>> It also comes as Abe may be looking for a political win. Pressure is rising on him at home following a series of scandals. 50,000 people took to the streets around Japan's parliament last weekend to call for him to step down. It's the biggest set of protests in almost three years.
Adding to the sense of crisis, a poll taken on Sunday showed Abe's approval rating had fallen to less than 27%, and the country's top finance official was recently accused of sexual harassment. Prime Minister Abe has repeatedly denied doing any wrong.