Protests in Japan against Trump's visit

May 25, 2019

TEHRAN- Scores of protesters marched through Tokyo, ahead of a four-day state visit by U.S. President Donald Trump.

People held banners and placards protesting against the U.S-developed Aegis Ashore missile interceptor systems that will be based in Japan. The demonstration was against the state visit by U.S. President Donald Trump to Japan.

Trump's arrival Tokyo on Saturday amid heavy security measures comes as Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe aims to underscore the warm relationship between the two allies even though the Trump administration has recently regarded auto exports to the U.S. as a potential national security threat, further seeking to cut the American trade deficit with Japan.

The U.S. has engaged in a costly trade war with China to stop what it views as Beijing’s unfair treatment of American companies. Trump's policies has also given rise to simmering tensions with Japan and the European Union over trade.

While Trump and Abe are expected to discuss trade during planned meetings on Monday, officials of both countries have discounted the possibility of any deals during the visit which lasts through Tuesday.

"I don’t think they will find the final solution at this summit meeting," said public affair minister Takehiro Shimada at the Japanese embassy in Washington during a press briefing on Thursday.

Instead, Shimada addes, he anticipated the two leaders would "confirm the importance of the acceleration of the negotiations" toward "creating a win-win" agreement.

An unnamed U.S. official cited in a Bloomberg report also downplayed the prospects on trade, saying it’s not the focus of the four-day trip, which is built around the symbolism of close Washington-Tokyo ties. The official, who spoke on the condition of anonymity, further asserted that the U.S. president plans to promote bilateral, free and fair trade during his conversations with Abe.

Trump stated last week that imported automobiles represented a threat to U.S. national security but then declared a delay in imposing tariffs on imported vehicles and parts from Japan and other nations for 180 days to pursue negotiations.

A Japanese official also cited in the report said that Trump and Abe were unlikely to resolve trade disputes involving automobile tariffs during the visit this week.

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