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Japan's Shinzo Abe criticized for 'golf summit' with Donald Trump

Japan's Shinzo Abe criticized for 'golf summit' with Donald Trump

Abe is clearly trying to get on the businessman president's good side, but he will try to do so while also "correcting" Trump's "misunderstandings" about Japan's trading practices. Japan is prepared to respond in kind, insisting the US open up its market for public contracts and abolish import tariffs on automobiles, which would stoke the ire of American automakers.

"Toyota has been making big investments in the U.S. It has built big factories, created jobs".

Mr Trump has previously criticised the lack of access to the Japanese auto market for United States producers and has accused Tokyo of using monetary policy to devalue its currency.

Abe's proposal for a new framework for economic talks is dovetailed with two battle plans mapped out by the government; one to deal with an aggressive and demanding president and another for a more conciliatory one.

"So far, Trump has described Japan as if it is an imagined enemy", said Fumiaki Kubo, an expert on United States politics at the University of Tokyo.

With a proposed $450 billion in infrastructure investments in the United States, Japan would generate 700,000 jobs, the paper claims, according to reports in the Japanese media. Major Japanese newspapers cited a draft of the proposal that calls for cooperation on building high-speed trains in the USA northeast, Texas and California. Abe, however, would prefer a multilateral deal between many countries, which is unlikely after Trump pulled out of the Trans-Pacific Partnership negotiations in his first week in office.

Hiroshi Ogushi, the Policy Research Committee chairman of the main opposition Democratic Party, told the Mainichi Shimbun that he was "a little worried" as to what kind of message Abe's playing golf with Trump will send to the world. Japanese sources have made clear Tokyo will push back on any attempts to bind its hands on a hyper-easy monetary policy central to "Abenomics" growth prescriptions.

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Abe, who departs Thursday, has moved quickly since the USA election to try to win Trump over.

Abe is also showing consideration to Trump over trade policy. The islands are called the Senkaku in Japan and the Diaoyu in China.

Despite a professed willingness to bolster their own military, the hawkish Abe and his supporters know a USA drawdown would badly upend East Asia and leave Japan vulnerable.

Some experts cautioned that too subservient a response by Abe, such as a government-inspired jobs creation package, risks confirming Trump's view that old-style Japan bashing works.

Others, though, said Japan has little choice.

Asahi said the Japanese government has been under pressure to provide a forum for dealing with bilateral economic issues led by Deputy Prime Minister and Finance Minister Aso and Mike Fence, the vice president of the United States.

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