Japan set to woo Trump to avoid trade battle

Credit: Reuters Studio
Published on May 23, 2019 - Duration: 01:31s

Japan set to woo Trump to avoid trade battle

Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe will treat U.S. President Donald Trump to front row seats at a sumo tournament, an imperial banquet, and a trip to the country’s biggest warship on a state visit as Tokyo seeks to avoid a bust-up over trade.

Michelle Hennessy reports.

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Japan set to woo Trump to avoid trade battle

When U.S. President Donald Trump visits Japan this weekend, he'll get to feast his eyes on this: The President will be treated to front row seats at a sumo tournament.

And will even be presenting a custom-made, Trump Trophy to the winner.

It's part of the bells and whistles package that Japan is laying on for the president.

He's also expected to play golf with Prime Minister Abe, and be treated to a lavish dinner with Japan's new Emperor Naruhito, along with his wife: Harvard-educated Empress Masako.

The fact Trump is the first foreign dignitary to visit under the new emperor is perhaps no coincidence.

Analysts say Japan is making it a top priority to forge ties with the president and avoid a China-style bust up over trade.

Trump has already made clear that he's unhappy with Japan's 68 billion dollar trade surplus with his country.

Much of it coming from auto exports.

Last week, Trump said some foreign vehicles and parts posed a national security threat.

But has delayed imposing tariffs for up to six months, to allow more time for talks.

The two sides have been negotiating a trade agreement though a senior White House official said Wednesday the focus of the trip won't be on trade.

Instead, North Korea and China's economic and military rise are expected to dominate at their summit on Monday (May 27).

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