Japan seeks a mild approach to President Trump and the threat of aluminum and steel tariffs

Japan seeks a mild approach to President Trump and the threat of aluminum and steel tariffs

Kanako Itamae and Lee Jay Walker

Modern Tokyo Times

The government of President Shinzo Abe of Japan seeks a mild approach towards the threat of aluminum and steel tariffs by America. This is based on important geopolitical concerns and the special relationship between America and Japan. However, it seems that President Donald Trump of America is serious about imposing tariffs on friends and foes alike because the issue is solely economic.

Hence, unlike some comments emanating from the European Union (EU) and China in relation to retaliatory measures, Abe is taking a mild approach. In other words, Japan is hoping that the special relationship between both nations will enable Japan to be exempted from possible aluminum and steel tariffs.

Yoshihide Suga, the Chief Cabinet Secretary of Japan, said, “We will closely examine the (tariff) move and its impact on Japanese companies. First and foremost, we will discuss the issue with the United States.”

Yet, Trump is making it known that friend or foe will face the new approach being taken by America. Trump said, Our friends and enemies have taken advantage of the U.S. for many years.”

Therefore, the implication is that Japan will not escape future tariffs despite the close relationship between both nations. Hence, Abe is struggling to tackle the serious ramifications of future tariffs, if Trump goes through with his threat.

It should be remembered that Trump promised the electorate to tackle unfair trade before being elected. In this sense, it is important for Trump to reconnect with the American electorate who voted for him on this important issue. This fact augurs negatively for Japan because Trump hopes to reinvigorate his domestic political base prior to the congressional midterm elections in America.

Overall, Abe loathes tackling the issue of tariffs with America from a confrontational approach. Therefore, it seems that a gentle approach will be taken by Japan in order to avoid any notion of a trade war with America. After all, Japan views the relationship with America to be of utmost importance.

Modern Tokyo News is part of the Modern Tokyo Times group

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