Friday, November 18, 2016

Trump Meets with Japanese PM, Begins to Outline Foreign Policy

Trump Tower in Manhattan is flurrying with activity this week as it becomes the headquarters for the transition of the president-elect. Anyone and everyone who is being considered for an office in the next administration (or simply someone the president-elect would like to meet with) is flocking to the Manhattan skyscraper this week. One of Trump's guests on Thursday was the Prime Minister of Japan, Shinzo Abe. Prime Minister Abe was one of the first foreign leaders to congratulate Mr. Trump via telephone on his victory in the election, and offered to meet with Trump since he happened to be visiting New York the following week. The Prime Minister left the meeting saying, "I am convinced Mr. Trump is a leader in whom I can have great confidence," and described the meeting as "really cordial." Trump and Abe are at some odds already over statements made by the president-elect during his campaign that Japan should pay the United States for the military defense provided by the latter to Japan. Trump is also firmly opposed to the Trans-Pacific Partnership, a trade deal that Prime Minister Abe worked hard to get approved by Japan's Diet (legislature). Even so, Abe wanted to focus on building a successful personal relationship with Trump rather than debating with him about his policies. Trump has also met with former Secretary of State Henry Kissinger as well as Israel's Ambassador to the United States, Ron Dermer, all in the interest of developing a foreign policy for the next administration. There have apparently been communication issues between the members of Trump's transition team and their counterparts in the Obama administration, including workers in the State Department, who are supposed to assist these new officers by giving them advice and briefing them on important issues. Trump's team finally reached out to the State Department yesterday.

Justin Wysocke

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