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Abe to meet Trump amid challenges at home and abroad

AP  |  Tokyo 

Japanese Shinzo headed today to Donald Trump's resort for two days of talks, hoping to keep Japan's interests on the table in a planned US-summit as well as stem a slide in his voter support ratings.

Unlike at their two previous summits, when the two leaders showcased their close personal relationship, arrives in the political hot seat this time. Experts say the outcome could boost or further undermine his leadership at home.

Another golf outing, as at their and meetings in 2017, is being planned, a Japanese said.

During the talks, will want to make sure Trump doesn't cut a deal with that leaves exposed to shorter-range missiles that do not necessarily threaten the US.

He also is expected to ask the US leader to raise with North Korean leader Un the issue of Japanese abducted by in the 1970s and 1980s.

Abe has to rely on Trump to represent Japan's interests, as the prospects of an Abe-Kim meeting remain uncertain. Kim has already met Chinese and is holding talks with South Korean Moon Jae-in next week before an expected meeting with Trump in late May or June.

Yu Uchiyama, a at the University of Tokyo, said Abe will try to make sure the two leaders are on the same page on North Korea.

"Mr. Abe wants to confirm their cooperation and eliminate the image that is left out of the loop," he said. "He is also seeking to achieve a diplomatic result in hopes of turning around his public support."

But Trump is unpredictable, Uchiyama said, and an unfavourable result could further damage Abe's weakening leadership position.

Abe also faces challenges on trade. He will likely seek to get Trump to reverse his decision not to exclude from new and aluminum tariffs, while resisting the US leader's attempts to pull Japan into bilateral trade negotiations.

Japanese officials said Abe and Trump might also discuss the Trans-Pacific Partnership, after Trump indicated last week that the US might be interested in rejoining what is now an 11-country trade agreement.

Trump pulled the US out of TPP shortly after his inauguration in early 2017.

(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

First Published: Tue, April 17 2018. 10:45 IST