Connect with us


Japan Already Preparing for a Second Trump Administration

Avatar of CTN News



Japan Already Preparing for a Second Trump Administration

As a second Trump administration becomes a serious possibility, officials in Japan are prepared to deploy the Harvard-educated Takao to boost engagement with the Republican candidate’s campaign ahead of the November 5 U.S. election, trying to avoid any policy surprises for Tokyo.

According to six sources familiar with the subject, Takao, reaching the end of his stint at Japan’s embassy in Beijing, would likely transfer to a U.S.-focused role, allowing Tokyo to capitalize on his knowledge of and acquaintance with Trump. They talked on the condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to discuss the situation publicly.

Four individuals claimed that some authorities wanted Takao transferred to Japan’s embassy in Washington, while two indicated that he could handle the job from Tokyo. According to four people, talks are still underway, and choices on place and timing have yet to be made.

Takao declined to answer Reuters’ questions regarding potential possibilities. Japan’s foreign ministry monitored the U.S. election “with great interest” but would not comment on specific individuals.

The high-level negotiations regarding the future of a mid-level bureaucrat highlight what observers call Japanese authorities’ frantic efforts to prepare for a U.S. election outcome that they fear could exacerbate trade and geopolitical tensions.

According to Reuters, America’s closest friend in Asia is anxious that Trump will seek a deal with China, reintroduce protectionist trade measures, and demand more money to maintain U.S. soldiers in Japan.

In recent weeks, a new term, “hobotora,” meaning “likely Trump,” has replaced “moshitora,” which means “possibly Trump.”

According to Joshua Walker, president of Japan Society, a New York-based non-profit promoting US-Japan relations, Japanese officials’ efforts to contact those close to Trump have reached a “fever pitch”.

“They know the Bidens: a simple and limited set of individuals they must stay in touch with. So they’ve focused all of their efforts on the Trump side,” he explained. This is a full-court press.”

Japan Engages with Trump Campaign

According to Reuters in February, Takao previously worked with Shigeo Yamada, Japan’s ambassador to the United States. Yamada took over the position late last year with instructions to engage with the Trump campaign.

According to one of the sources and another person familiar with the situation, in addition to discussing Takao, Japan’s U.S. embassy officials have recently met with Trump’s former top staffer, Mark Meadows and former national security adviser Robert O’Brien.

Those discussions attempted to better grasp Trump’s foreign policy ideas and the composition of a future administration.

Meadows and O’Brien did not return inquiries for comment. A representative for the Japanese embassy in Washington said he couldn’t comment on specific individuals.

Meanwhile, two of the six people said Taro Aso, a prominent member of Japan’s ruling party who served as deputy prime minister during Trump’s presidency, is considering returning to the United States in the coming months to meet with Republican politicians close to Trump and prepare for a potential Trump government.

Japan has previously attempted a similar preemptive push. Abe was the first foreign leader to meet then-President-elect Trump in 2016, and the two developed tight ties. Abe was assassinated in 2022.

The latest effort comes at a crucial time for Prime Minister Fumio Kishida, who is set to visit the United States next month at the invitation of Trump’s Democratic adversary, President Joe Biden.

Studying films of Trump

Reuters reported this week that the leaders of the United States and Japan are anticipated to agree to strengthen bilateral military cooperation.

Takao interpreted for Abe in dozens of meetings with Trump between 2016 and 2020, including at Trump Tower, in the presidential car known as “The Beast,” during a sumo match in Japan, and on golf trips.

According to one of the six sources and another person familiar with the situation, the civil servant, who was reared in the United States and returned to Japan as a teenager, spent hours studying films of Trump and golf rules in preparation for those meetings.

That research eased the leaders’ interactions in a way that piqued the interest of Trump and his advisers.

In a July 2022 Wall Street Journal op-ed, Matt Pottinger, Trump’s former deputy national security adviser, stated that Takao “rendered the Japanese leader’s upbeat staccato into resonant English, even while clinging to the back of a racing golf cart”.

Pottinger told Reuters that Takao “is a superb diplomat and was very effective as Prime Minister Abe’s English-language ‘voice’.”

“He will be an asset to Japan in whatever role he is assigned,” he said.

According to a person familiar with the subject, following one of his golf outings with Abe in 2019, Trump jokingly referred to Takao as junior prime minister. Despite his lack of Mandarin fluency, Takao was appointed political counselor at Japan’s embassy in Beijing in 2021, where he rose to prominence among Western diplomats.

Takao, who previously served as second secretary in Japan’s U.S. embassy early in his career, is a workaholic who some view as a superstar in Japan’s foreign service, according to two people who know him.

Other officials doubted Takao’s abilities despite his credentials, citing Japan’s tight bureaucracy and Trump’s preference for engaging directly with foreign leaders.

“Donald J. Trump is well acquainted with Takao-san, who may remind him of the joyful times spent with his late friend, Prime Minister Abe,” said Tomohiko Taniguchi, Abe’s former special adviser.

“Yet, Trump’s preference for direct dealings with a country’s leader means that Mr. Kishida will need to put in significant effort to garner friendship and trust from Mr. Trump.”

The CTNNews editorial team comprises seasoned journalists and writers dedicated to delivering accurate, timely news coverage. They possess a deep understanding of current events, ensuring insightful analysis. With their expertise, the team crafts compelling stories that resonate with readers, keeping them informed on global happenings.

CTN News App

CTN News App

Recent News


compras monedas fc 24

Volunteering at Soi Dog

Find a Job

Jooble jobs

Free ibomma Movies