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How would a 'President Trump' deal with Japan?

57 Comments

For Sapio (February), the abiding question is, will the next U.S. President-elect Donald Trump screech "You're fired!" at Japan?

This possibility is raised by Tatou Takahama, a former Yomiuri newspaper journalist based in Southern California. In search of answers, Takahama actually tweeted a message to Trump asking for comments about how the U.S.-Japan relationship could be expected to change in the event of his election. Trump's initial response seemed to be a standard boilerplate message, which read "Thank you for support" [sic]. Efforts to obtain more specific details were unsuccessful.

A reporter from a major daily newspaper explained to him that in the run-up to American presidential elections, it's common for people to announce their candidacy without going through the trouble of formulating platform specifics. In Trump's case, moreover, reporters covering the campaign simply can't get close enough to him to obtain usable comments.

"Just report what I say, that's good enough," Trump was quoted as advising members of the press.

At least Takahama was able to put together a collection of Japan- or Asia-related remarks attributed to Trump.

In April 25, 2014, he tweeted, "If we drop the import duty on Japanese cars to zero, they'll ship several million cars, and we'll never achieve a balance of trade.

Last August 25, Trump had remarked to the effect that "if Japan is attacked, the U.S. must go to its aid. But if we are attacked, we don't get aid from Japan. The U.S.-Japan Security Treaty is unfair."

And more recently on Dec 7, the 74th anniversary of the attack on Pearl Harbor, Trump spoke aboard the deck of the retired aircraft carrier USS Yorktown, which is docked in Mt Pleasant, South Carolina. In that speech, Trump made his oft-quoted and much-criticized remarks about banning Muslim immigration into the U.S. "until our country's representatives can figure out what is going on."

Those remarks dominated the coverage, but Takahama points out Trump also referred to the "despicable and cowardly sneak attack that caused the deaths of 2,403 servicemen, with another 1,178 wounded. And in 2001, using the same cowardly methods Islamic extremists attacked the World Trade Center in New York. At least the Pearl Harbor attackers targeted military facilities, but the Islamists engaged in indiscriminate murders of civilians..." He then tied in 9-11 with the recent fatal shootings of 14 people in San Bernadino, California by a married couple said to be supporters of the Islamic State.

"With the words 'despicable and cowardly sneak attack,'" Takahama writes, "one thing that permeates Trump followers of age 70 and over is how they are still imbued with such negative feelings toward Japan."

Observing that if Trump weren't running for president, he would just be referred to as a multimillionaire who made his fortune from real estate, so how, then, Takahama asks, can we explain his huge popularity with Republican voters?

The first factor, he supposes, is Americans' annoyance over their country's decline as a superpower. Trump has been masterfully exploiting this resentment. And funding his own campaign makes it possible for him to ride the wave of populism.

The second factor are resilient streaks of anti-elitism and anti-intellectualism.

"What resonates [among Trump's supporters] is their low levels of education, as many come from the ranks of blue-collar workers in declining industries or small-scale farmers. It's the hearts of these people he's been grabbing," a TV station director who accompanied the Trump campaign was quoted as saying.

And what sort of conclusions are to be drawn from all the sound and fury? Nothing surprising, it would seem.

"When and if Trump's momentum begins to falter, I suppose the media will turn on him too, and start portraying him as a loser," an unnamed Republican strategist is quoted.

© Japan Today

©2019 GPlusMedia Inc.

57 Comments
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“What resonates [among Trump’s supporters] is their low levels of education, as many come from the ranks of blue-collar workers in declining industries or small-scale farmers. It’s the hearts of these people he’s been grabbing,”

It's pathetic how he's pandering to the disenfranchised, to a segment of the US public he no doubt dismisses as losers, except of course when they're cheering on his demagoguery and flattering his gigantic ego. Maybe some of them are people who have been through bankruptcies so they can personally identify with him because he's a serial bank-rupter.

He wants to get his audience to believe he'll lead them back to the 1950's, to the days when white men had even greater control. The gun toters in his audience are now being called yee-haw-dists and ya'allQaeda.

7 ( +16 / -9 )

The Donald has been an ubiquitous presence in the media now since he announced his candidacy. I really don't think all the folks who have been checking out his rallies will be persuaded to get out to vote. Give me 24/7 wall-to-wall media coverage and I too will be the frontrunner !

0 ( +2 / -2 )

WW2 over.I think america must close tehir military base on japan.Also Trump is a racist dumb presidential candidate i've ever seen.He's destroying americas cultural values.U.S.A is a united nations not only based on specific nation.He need to learn history.

2 ( +9 / -7 )

You will never get any of the remaining WWII generation in both countries to ever really forgive and forget. But for the boomer generation and the succeeding gen X, telling the truth in Japan's history school books would be a great start. Americans are tired of being the world's policeman, go to charity countries and dumping ground for other countries criminals and jobless. Trump has tapped into that feeling and riding the wave in the same way the Obama tapped into the black community's distrust of white America.

-6 ( +9 / -15 )

How will he deal with Japan? The same as with everything else; with arrogance, ignorance and not the slightest trace of embarrassment. There is still a perverse part of me that hopes he gets in though. It will be America's Berlusconi moment. Not that America or the world can afford to waste any more time with yet another hopeless president.

8 ( +13 / -5 )

He would treat Japan just like Japan treats the U.S., expect them to play fair and open their markets and get on the TPP. Whats so wrong about that? Let the fun begin )

-8 ( +7 / -15 )

As long as he gets good California rolls, he will treat Japan fairly.

-7 ( +2 / -9 )

Trump:

"We will build a new base in Okinawa and we will make Japan pay for it."

Oh, wait.... never mind... that's already being done.

8 ( +10 / -2 )

tired of being the world's policeman,

Policeman? If it is it's a rogue one. And one that shoots first and thinks second. Still, I can see why many Americans would go along with this characterization, with their media diet and sense that their simplistic solutions don't seem to lead anywhere. America is done. I am a bit sad about that in some ways but Trump and Clinton are drowning emanations from a sinking hulk.

0 ( +4 / -4 )

I've noticed he always mentions China and Japan together negatively and I think this is more subtle racism than based on facts. More than 70% of "Japanese" cars are now manufactured in the US with a majority of US parts. And while there are trade barriers to US cars in Japan (to all foreign cars really), there are many side issues such as size, steering wheel placement, etc. that naturally inhibit popularity.

5 ( +10 / -5 )

@paulusa,

The japan car mfg in the U.S. are managed by Japanese and they realize all the profits. Thats a very feel good attempt for apologizing for the trade imbalance, but its far from reality. U.S. car and other makers ard doing quite well in China so the side issues are nothing but an excuse. You show a limited understanding of how the Japanese cleverly block out all foriegn competition but invade and hold other countries markets.

Whats amazing to me is how japanese companies can do so well in the U.S. while other U.S. companies must leave the U.S. to set up their factories. Something smells about that.

2 ( +9 / -7 )

He will just be like Obama and Clinton on steroids: When I say JUMP, you JUMP, when I say PLAY DEAD, you PLAY DEAD! That is their basic attitude toward Japan. Hatoyama was right. Japan should have moved into China when it had the chance.

-5 ( +3 / -8 )

Mr. Trump already said that as president he would make SK pay for the US military protection or he would pull it out of the country. Japan would be next if he did that. The average USA taxpayer sees the costs of its military in SK and Japan as confusing. Why is it there for 65+ years and how many more years when SK and Japan spends millions of dollars rebuilding an airport in a foreign country? The benevolent benefactor makes the leader feel important, but what is wrong with taking care of the country's people? Right or wrong, Mr. Trump has at least made people start to think about issues.

4 ( +6 / -2 )

By the tone of his declaration, this guy looks like an evil bigot anchored into some dark age dreaming to bring back past glories so either he will find affinities with similar group here in Japan (there are some in the same line) or right after Muslim and Mexican he will target on Japanese and any people not sharing his religion/believes. Can't imagine this guy having his hands on the nuclear power trigger button.

2 ( +5 / -3 )

Trump understands how to use hate and fear to accomplish a goal. That is all he has to offer as president. I don't think the Republican committee will choose him as a candidate, though the other candidates are nothing to write home about either.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

There'd be less Japanese cars in USA, and more American cars in Japan.

1 ( +5 / -4 )

Japanese car manufacturers employ over 1,300,000 people in the US.

That's all Trump or anyone needs to know.

7 ( +11 / -4 )

Fortunately GOP supporters are increasingly disgusted by rhetoric of Trump and other Republican candidates and their pandering to the 1%, which is causing a backlash against the party and an evaporating base of voters. Republican voters have been fleeing the party in droves. The number of U.S. citizens willing to vote Republican is now so small that Trump is very unlikely to win the election at this part.

Just for some anecdotal evidence of this dwindling base of support here is just one among many of the comments in that regard posted to the Bernie Sanders page on Facebook.

Mr. Sanders -- I changed my voter registration today from (life-long) Republican to Democrat so I could vote for you...

-2 ( +2 / -4 )

"Japanese car manufacturers employ over 1,300,000 people in the US. That's all Trump or anyone needs to know."

And how many Japanese are employed by US car mfgs in Japan?

Trump is only showing the very real others wont address

Where I disagree with Trump is the defense issue. If the U.S. pulled out of Japan 100% then, as has been warned for decades, that vaccum might lead to an arms race. Oh wait, one is already started. The dynamic might change to the point where Japan feels it needs to "protect" the U.S. with nuclear capability and others from China, and a whole new mess is started.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

The same way he treats everyone and everything else-- with bombastic self-aggrandizing bravado and when he wrecks everything as he inevitably does, he'll just borrow more money to pretend he's some kind of business/political savant instead of a blunderhead who inherited money and made himself a celebrity by being a loudmouth braggart.

3 ( +5 / -2 )

I forgot something.America used nuclear bomb against civilian,in iraq conflict U.S. army murdered dozen of civilians and they still said about civilian killing?They've mastered about that.

-11 ( +2 / -13 )

@Ogün Nice comments but you need to look into things a lot more deeply. America and Japan have a treaty that enables our bases to remain in Japan. If we weren't here, Asia would be a much less stable place, with Korea and China being much more aggressive. China would grab Taiwan and maybe Okinawa, if we created a power vacuum. We "defend" Japan, a nation barred from having a military (though they have a self defense force). No one has ever used "nuclear" bombs against anyone, though we did drop two "atomic" bombs on Japan (there's quite a bit of difference.

4 ( +5 / -1 )

I'm sorry, I made a mistake with some old data. Japanese car companies now employ over 1,500,000 in the US.

And for every 100 American employees of Japanese carmakers, American carmakers employed less than 1 Japanese.

5 ( +8 / -3 )

trouble JAN. 07, 2016 - 01:27PM JST And for every 100 American employees of Japanese carmakers, American carmakers employed less than 1 Japanese.

What is your point? That Americans could do good work equal or better than your Japanese workers?

-3 ( +2 / -5 )

And for every 100 American employees of Japanese carmakers, American carmakers employed less than 1 Japanese.

Amazing what they've got data for these days.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Wish Sapio magazine would encourage -- no, make that "insist on" their writers attributing their quotes. How do we know the writer isn't just extrapolating them from Fox News or MSNBC?

0 ( +0 / -0 )

It's pathetic how he's pandering to the disenfranchised

-PTownsend

This is what the left is now saying about Donald Trump. They hate that he's speaking for the disenfranchised, the blue collar, the working class. Let that sink in.

The left now considers wanting to pull military bases out of countries like Germany, South Korea, and Japan to be fascists demagoguery. Let that sink in.

I wonder if 2016 will officially be known as the year of leftist cognitive dissonance?

-2 ( +3 / -6 )

I could take issue with many of Tatou's "supposes" but saying his followers have a "low level of education" pretty much says everything I need to know about Tatou Takahama. Spare us your "supposes" and go to one of his 7,000+ in attendance rally's and you will find out your wrong. But I don't think you care anyway since writing bad things about trump is like dangling a baby pig in front of a Great White shark that hasn't eaten in a week. You're sure to get a bite!

-1 ( +3 / -4 )

His advisors will tell him to leave it alone the way it is. Trump is not going to win anyway. So what does it matter?

-3 ( +0 / -3 )

Toss women at him. He's been married how many times?

1 ( +4 / -3 )

Japan, I know Japan. I have been to Japan. Great place but you cannot trust them, well not all of them, some are OK but really you cannot trust them. They need us, we do not need them. Really, that is the fact. First thing I do is fire the Embassy staff because they let things get this bad. They are not just not smart, not as smart as the Japanese but as I said, you cannot trust them. Next question.

That is how he would handle Japan.

3 ( +4 / -1 )

I will vote for Trump and I am Japanese and have a Bachelor's degree.

2 ( +8 / -6 )

@illys>They hate that he's speaking for the disenfranchised,

'Speaking for' are your words: I wrote 'pandering'. Trump never speaks for anyone but himself. Does anyone seriously believe he cares a whit about the working class? If he did, he'd start by having the goods he has manufactured overseas made in the US. The only US presidential candidate who might be sincere in "speaking for the disenfranchised, the blue collar, the working class" is Sanders.

0 ( +5 / -5 )

Well, this guy cannot see a difference between SK to Japan. He has already mixed up Japan to China.. He will lead us into the WW3. I sure do not want this guy to lead us.

3 ( +6 / -3 )

I will vote for Trump and I am Japanese and have a Bachelor's degree.

Voting for Trump will mean your degree will have to be returned. If you look at the fine print of your diploma doing something incredibly stupid violates the terms and conditions of keeping the degree. Unless you are a philosophy major, then no one cares.

-1 ( +4 / -5 )

Great picture by the way - it looks as if he is holding his own placard! (if you ignore the fact it's out of focus, of course...)

0 ( +0 / -0 )

RE: Ogün AlarçinJan. 07, 2016 - 08:17AM JST WW2 over.I think america must close tehir military base on japan.Also Trump is a racist dumb presidential candidate i've ever seen.He's destroying americas cultural values.U.S.A is a united nations not only based on specific nation.He need to learn history.

Trump is far from being racist but very close to being a realist and not in some book fantasy. The US was not the fault of Donald Trump but rather the bank system greedy owners and Clinton who gave China its ticket to the WHO and trade,along with many of the mfg jobs, also he did nothing when China shot down the U2 spy plane grabbed the technology and finally gave them means for NK to mfg nuclear weapons. Obama finished the job of turning the US into a ghetto, ruining the greatest and strongest military minds and units doing his best to disarm US citizens who will be vulnerable and at the beckon call of the US politicians and police state. As for culture blame that on an irresponsible Obama administration and weak immigration rules.I think you need to learn more about your own history and stop wasting your time on topics you have no knowledge of.

RE: Zurconium: If this is the best of education you have to show in a reply then it should be you to surrender any degree you may paid for rather than earned. Maybe you should follow your own advice and read through the fine print.

-8 ( +2 / -11 )

Bjohnson,

That sounds like 2 years of Fox News rolled into a paragraph, and I have no idea what you are trying to say after the part about Trump being a realist except that Obama created all bad things in the world.

6 ( +7 / -1 )

Japanese car companies now employ over 1,500,000 in the US.

Don't japanese car companies have manufacturing plants in Mexico too? What's your point?

0 ( +3 / -3 )

'Speaking for' are your words: I wrote 'pandering'. Trump never speaks for anyone but himself. Does anyone seriously believe he cares a whit about the working class? If he did, he'd start by having the goods he has manufactured overseas made in the US. The only US presidential candidate who might be sincere in "speaking for the disenfranchised, the blue collar, the working class" is Sanders.

Arguing that he should manufacture in the US when the economics and rational behavior don't support it is equivalent to conservatives arguing that liberals should voluntarily pay the higher tax rates they support. Do you accept both arguments as valid or are you willing to concede that if manufacturing in the US isn't economically viable under current trade policy it's ludicrous to criticize someone for not doing it, just like saying liberals should voluntarily pay higher tax rates?

And at least Trump has explicitly states his support for protectionist measures (tariffs) to bring manufacturing back to the US. Has Sanders gone on record supporting tariffs?

-5 ( +0 / -5 )

Can't wait to see on Youtube a parody of his advertising for the Great Wall around USA to protect it from the world, with a new soundtrack, maybe Pink Floyd Another Brick In the Wall....

0 ( +1 / -1 )

The vulgar bully is a farcical character.

-1 ( +3 / -4 )

I think Japanese don't buy U.S car because those are too big in Japan. We need low displacement cars in Japan. By the way,Trump is racist.

1 ( +4 / -3 )

I think Japanese don't buy U.S car because those are too big in Japan. We need low displacement cars in Japan. By the way,Trump is racist

They dont buy them because they are shut out of the japan market and japanese place huge tarriffs to import them. Only benz and bmw, VW and status cars sell due to cultural preference and a long established and "safe" presence in Japan. Ford and GMC have models that sell well in Asia but Japan blocks out all foriegn products so your easily brainwashed into thinking Japanese products are the best, when in fact you have no access to foriegn products to judge for yourself. This is one of the biggest myths/lies perpetuated about Japan that the Japanese wont buy foriegn products because they are inferior. The real reason is that the Japanese have no access to foriegn products due to extreme protectionism. If Japanese wont buy foriegn products, then why so many of them in Costco on Sat/Sunday?

-2 ( +3 / -5 )

The US's paternalistic leashe (and everything it encompasses) is one of the more important pillars holding up the US's status as a global superpower.

Much of the data he refers is totally outdated or only looks at the negative aspect of the deals (for the USA) and totally ignores the benefits the US is gaining from said deals.

I personally want Trump to win the presidency and to pull through with his promises with regards to his West Pacific policies (although he'd probably be forced to flip-flop exactly like how Hatoyama did with his policy toward the USA) once/if he gets elected president.

The world needs a shake up, and the sooner the better. Release the building tension at an early stage before it builds to a level where a conflict on the scale of WW3 is inevitable.

-4 ( +0 / -4 )

The world needs a shake up, and the sooner the better.

Personally I think the word need a major shift from "money" to "humanity and civilization".

5 ( +5 / -0 )

Trump will win and will work very well with Japan.

-2 ( +2 / -4 )

Don't japanese car companies have manufacturing plants in Mexico too? What's your point?

The point is that Japanese car companies employ a lot of Americans, so whining about Japanese cars rings little hollow. Most "Japanese cars" in America are not imported from Japan anymore, so he would just be biting the hand that feeds a lot of families.

2 ( +4 / -2 )

I suppose Bush #2 is hoping that Trump gets elected, so that Bush will no longer be saddled with the title of worst US President, ever.

That said, I hope Trump gets the GOP nomination, so we can be guaranteed another Democratic President. Either Hillary or Bernie is a thousand times better than any of the no-nothing GOP candidates.

-1 ( +2 / -3 )

The Trupmpter will never win the next American Election!

0 ( +1 / -1 )

America will show their true colour with this election. THey will vote in Trump. Because America is all about Guns, racism, International control and more guns.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

A lot of the things he has said has made others look at issues at home rather than debating about what to do in other country's all the time. No matter if you like or dislike him, it should be agreed that the mindset of focusing more on issues at home rather than trying to do everything else is needed.

It's time that America starts focusing on itself at home, and a lot of the issues he's talked about are at home.

Since he is not a textbook politician or has experience in that area, if he is smart he will have someone good close by to work on the Diplomacy with other nations, as he himself will need to gain experience in that himself over time.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

WIthout the US military presence in Japan, Japan, sorry for losing WWII and dreaming of its former glory as a Japanese Rising Sun empire, will rise to become militarily aggressive.

-4 ( +0 / -4 )

He wouldn't...

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Trump would be a terrible learning experience for the USA, just as Tojo was a terrible learning experience for Japan, and Hitler for Germany. We should pray that it does not come to that.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

He would ally with China Because he needs their experience in building a border wall.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Japan spends only 1% of it's GDP on the military, meanwhile they are manipulating their yen in order to create a severe trade imbalance with the USA. Trump will, very respectfully, request that Japan either MATCH their military spending to that of the USA, which is ~3%, or pay America 2% of their GDP so that we can keep funding the US military in the region.

Trump simply believes that Allies should be 50 / 50 partners in everything we do.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

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