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Trump details ‘America first’ foreign policy views, threatening to withdraw troops from Japan, South Korea

Kyodo, JIJI, AFP-JIJI

U.S. presidential candidate Donald Trump has said he is open to the idea of both Japan and South Korea developing their own nuclear weapons and would be willing to withdraw U.S. troops from their soil, the New York Times reported in its online edition Saturday.

In an interview with the major U.S. newspaper, the front-runner for the Republican presidential nomination said that allowing the two countries to have their own nuclear arsenal would reduce pressure in the United States to come to their defense against North Korea and China.

The United States “cannot be the policeman of the world,” Trump said and suggested that Tokyo and Seoul would move in that direction anyway if Washington “keeps on its path, its current paths of weakness.”

Asked if he would consider removing troops from Japan and South Korea unless the two countries paid more to cover the costs of housing and feeding them, Trump said “yes.” “I would not do so happily, but I would be willing to do it,” the New York businessman and billionaire said.

He also said he would seek to renegotiate many fundamental treaties with American allies, possibly including a 56-year-old security pact with Japan, which he described as “a pretty one-sided agreement.”

“We have to go out with full force” to defend Japan under the bilateral pact if the country comes under an armed attack, Trump noted. But he added, “If we’re attacked, they do not have to come to our defense.” “That’s a real problem.”

He also said, “We cannot afford to be losing vast amounts of billions of dollars on all of this.”

When an interviewer told him that Japan pays more for U.S. troops than any other country in the world, Trump said, “They do but still far less than it costs us.”

Trump also showed his tolerance of Japan and South Korea having their own nuclear arsenals for their protection from countries such as North Korea, saying that if the United States “keeps on its path, its current path of weakness, they’re going to want to have that anyway, with or without me discussing it.”

In the interview, Trump also stressed his “America first” policy and said that he would review the country’s relations with the North Atlantic Treaty Organization and Arab nations such as Saudi Arabia.

Trump said he was not an isolationist, but described the United States as a poor debtor nation that disproportionately funds international alliances such as NATO and the United Nations.

Similarly lopsided relationships exist with allies such as Japan, South Korea and Saudi Arabia, he said.

“We have been disrespected, mocked and ripped off for many, many years by people that were smarter, shrewder, tougher,” he told The Times.

“So America first, yes, we will not be ripped off anymore. We’re going to be friendly with everybody, but we’re not going to be taken advantage of by anybody,” he said.

He also slammed President Barack Obama’s administration for seeking a political exit for Syrian President Bashar Assad while simultaneously fighting the Islamic State group as “madness and idiocy.”

“I’m not saying Assad is a good man, ’cause he’s not, but our far greater problem is not Assad, it’s ISIS,” he said.

The real estate developer said he would instead target the oil that provides a significant portion of the extremist group’s funding, cracking down on underground banking channels to cut off the flow of money.

Trump, who has repeatedly called for Middle Eastern allies to contribute boots on the ground in the fight against IS, said he would “probably” stop buying oil from countries like Saudi Arabia unless they did so or reimbursed the United States for its role in the fight.

  • kaigun

    Donald Trump is baka

    • Rebecca

      Unfortunately, he is much worse.

    • J.P. Bunny

      Please, don’t insult the bakas of the world.

    • J.P. Bunny

      Please, don’t insult the bakas of the world.

    • J.P. Bunny

      Please, don’t insult the bakas of the world.

    • J.P. Bunny

      Please, don’t insult the bakas of the world.

    • J.P. Bunny

      Please, don’t insult the bakas of the world.

  • Joe Cortez

    The man raves. He has the mentality of a 5yo. It seems the man never moved past that stage, and it is evident in his speech and thought patterns. Did he even go through the K-12 system? How can you go through the American school system and somehow miss the whole reason Japan and America have ties to begin with? You know? Something to do with World War 2 and Japan’s constitution? It should be evident to anyone outside of the US how incompetent Donald Drumpf is, and how unfit he is for the US presidency. You know something that I find disconcerting? How little attention the Japanese mass-media giving little to no attention to Bernie Sanders. Have they been following what states he’s been winning? Or is the Japanese media too in the pocket of Billary Clinton? Think it possible, Japan. Bernie Sanders could be your next president. Be ready for WWIII if the American people are stupid and idiotic enough to allow Donald Drumpf to be president.

    • Lori

      Keep calling him Drumpf. I don’t believe it bothers him that he is called by his ancestral/immigrant name. He also has nothing against immigrants, his family members were immigrants, his wife is one…they just are LEGAL. I know you are saying it to belittle him. He is a business man who has businesses across the world so I am sure he knows about foreign relations unlike others…he has to for having business across the globe. BTW…minorities can call people names, claim white folks are racists, say white folks are privileged but who takes the handouts, who claims they are victims of racism, who has affirmative action? Maybe you ought to pull out a dictionary and see what the word means. It’s actually working hard for everything you have and that’s not privileged. Also, I have not had a free ride in life, I am a woman in a man’s world but I don’t play the victim nor do I pull out the gender card. I make my own way. Try it sometime. BTW…keep in mind you can say what you want but Trump’s been successful in his own right. Grant it he took millions and made billions but not everyone can. I would rather be him than you.

      • Clickonthewhatnow

        Did you not see John Oliver’s piece on Trump? The whole reason this Drumpf thing came about was because he told another candidate not to hide their history, yet his family altered their name. Trump should change his name back and be proud of his heritage, what’s good for the goose is good for the gander.

      • blondein_tokyo

        He has nothing agianst legal immigrants, as long as they are not Muslim, you mean.
        He is a businessman, yet somehow also an expert in international relations and dipomacy? This, despite the virtrolic and childish nature of his rehtoric, that actually made the President of Mexico so angry that he used the word “f–k” on national TV.
        Who takes handouts? If you mean welfare, then the answer is “people of all ethnicities”.
        Who claims they are vicitms of racisim? People who have been discriminated against.
        Who has affrimitive action? People who have been discriminated against and so need a step up.
        “Try it sometime”? Who do you think you are asking this, exactly?
        I see nothing at all that is either insightful or intelligent in your post, and a lot of racist stereotypes and right-wing talking points, repreated almost verbatim, with no though put into them…which is exactly what I have come to expect from Trump supporters.

      • blondein_tokyo

        He has nothing agianst legal immigrants, as long as they are not Muslim, you mean.
        He is a businessman, yet somehow also an expert in international relations and dipomacy? This, despite the virtrolic and childish nature of his rehtoric, that actually made the President of Mexico so angry that he used the word “f–k” on national TV.
        Who takes handouts? If you mean welfare, then the answer is “people of all ethnicities”.
        Who claims they are vicitms of racisim? People who have been discriminated against.
        Who has affrimitive action? People who have been discriminated against and so need a step up.
        “Try it sometime”? Who do you think you are asking this, exactly?
        I see nothing at all that is either insightful or intelligent in your post, and a lot of racist stereotypes and right-wing talking points, repreated almost verbatim, with no though put into them…which is exactly what I have come to expect from Trump supporters.

      • Clickonthewhatnow

        “Grant it he took millions and made billions but not everyone can.”

        True. Most business owners don’t get protection from the government when FOUR of their businesses go belly up.

    • Chris Houston ✓ᴺᵃᵗᶦᵒᶰᵃˡᶦˢᵗ

      Guess you are too young to remember Japanese made products stamped “made in occupied Japan”
      Japan and all of Europe are vassal states.

    • Chris Houston ✓ᴺᵃᵗᶦᵒᶰᵃˡᶦˢᵗ

      Guess you are too young to remember Japanese made products stamped “made in occupied Japan”
      Japan and all of Europe are vassal states.

    • Chris Houston ✓ᴺᵃᵗᶦᵒᶰᵃˡᶦˢᵗ

      Guess you are too young to remember Japanese made products stamped “made in occupied Japan”
      Japan and all of Europe are vassal states.

  • tisho

    Japan without the US would be like a weak school bully without its big ass brother who is always there preventing others from beating his ass. Japan for the past 50 years has been like a thin school bully who constantly antagonizes others and then runs behind his big brother and shouts – come get me, you suckers! China would be very pleased to see the big brother absent.

    • Joe Cortez

      Excuse me, who has Japan antagonized for the past 50 years? Japan got its ass handed to it in 1945 when they were A-bombed twice. They were then forced to give up everything. Correct me if I’m wrong, but wasn’t it the US who basically made Japan sign their constitution which says they can’t have an army or attack anyone? Which is why they only have a flimsy self-defense? I think it’s funny you’re making Japan the “bully” here. Hasn’t it been China taking islands and ocean space by building artificial islands and claiming the sea-space around it as its own? And it teaming up with North Korea to antagonize Japan and South Korea by firing missiles into the sea? The way I see it, Japan has been at the mercy of China/North Korea, and the US has been the only thing to stand in the way of them fully advancing on Japan. Maybe I’m wrong. I am open to correction. Do please educate me.

    • Clickonthewhatnow

      Who has Japan bullied in the last fifty years?

    • skillet

      Japan is not a bully at all.

    • skillet

      Japan is not a bully at all.

    • Viva75

      Sorry, who exactly has Japan bullied again? I’d love to hear your propaganda fairy tale backed up with evidence, any evidence. Pull The Party blinders off, the ONLY bullying, shouting and antagonizing has been done by China.

    • Viva75

      Sorry, who exactly has Japan bullied again? I’d love to hear your propaganda fairy tale backed up with evidence, any evidence. Pull The Party blinders off, the ONLY bullying, shouting and antagonizing has been done by China.

  • Steven Lange

    He just lost my vote. If there was ever a one-sided “agreement ” it was the one forced on Japan after Matthew Perry came steaming into their harbor uninvited during the 1850’s. From the 1850’s to the early 1900’s, American bullied Japan. Why?….because they could. If Japan decided that they wanted to go it alone, and cancel the security agreement, I would say “fine”, and wish them well. Anyone who doubts their ability to stand on their own has not studied their accomplishments in rebuilding a great nation after WW2.

  • Li Xuepeng

    Donald Trump is absolutely correct – Japan and South Korea can defend themselves, Europe can defend itself, NATO spending must be massively curtailed, and all of these alliances must be very carefully re-examined, if not completely withdrawn from. They do not benefit America, and America cannot pay for them any longer, because America is a broke paper tiger. Isolationism makes much more sense in the nuclear weapons era than ever before. Instead of wasting $1T+ in Iraq, Afghanistan, Libya, Syria, how much safer would America have been if they spent a fraction of that on enhanced homeland security and simply banned all Muslims from entering US territory immediately after 9/11? It is time for America to gracefully step away from the world stage before it does even more harm to itself and to others.

  • skillet

    As an enthusiastic Trump supporter, the only real worries I have would be Trump ruining relations with Japan. They are the country I most want to stay allied with.

  • Paul Martin

    Trump is RIGHT again…WHY

    should Americans ALWAYS risk

    their lives on the front lines to

    protect other countries who don’t

    really even like or appreciate them

    and who are quite capable of

    defending themselves?

  • Secret Agent

    It’s been 60 years since Truman dropped the bomb. It’s time to end the occupation. The only ones who say it’s not an occupation are the same ones who say it should not end: the Americans. Everyone in Japan knows what their status is: Vassal.

  • Secret Agent

    It’s been 60 years since Truman dropped the bomb. It’s time to end the occupation. The only ones who say it’s not an occupation are the same ones who say it should not end: the Americans. Everyone in Japan knows what their status is: Vassal.

  • Secret Agent

    It’s been 60 years since Truman dropped the bomb. It’s time to end the occupation. The only ones who say it’s not an occupation are the same ones who say it should not end: the Americans. Everyone in Japan knows what their status is: Vassal.

  • Secret Agent

    It’s been 60 years since Truman dropped the bomb. It’s time to end the occupation. The only ones who say it’s not an occupation are the same ones who say it should not end: the Americans. Everyone in Japan knows what their status is: Vassal.

  • Secret Agent

    It’s been 60 years since Truman dropped the bomb. It’s time to end the occupation. The only ones who say it’s not an occupation are the same ones who say it should not end: the Americans. Everyone in Japan knows what their status is: Vassal.

  • Secret Agent

    It’s been 60 years since Truman dropped the bomb. It’s time to end the occupation. The only ones who say it’s not an occupation are the same ones who say it should not end: the Americans. Everyone in Japan knows what their status is: Vassal.

  • Secret Agent

    It’s been 60 years since Truman dropped the bomb. It’s time to end the occupation. The only ones who say it’s not an occupation are the same ones who say it should not end: the Americans. Everyone in Japan knows what their status is: Vassal.

  • Secret Agent

    It’s been 60 years since Truman dropped the bomb. It’s time to end the occupation. The only ones who say it’s not an occupation are the same ones who say it should not end: the Americans. Everyone in Japan knows what their status is: Vassal.

  • Secret Agent

    It’s been 60 years since Truman dropped the bomb. It’s time to end the occupation. The only ones who say it’s not an occupation are the same ones who say it should not end: the Americans. Everyone in Japan knows what their status is: Vassal.

  • Secret Agent

    It’s been 60 years since Truman dropped the bomb. It’s time to end the occupation. The only ones who say it’s not an occupation are the same ones who say it should not end: the Americans. Everyone in Japan knows what their status is: Vassal.

  • Secret Agent

    It’s been 60 years since Truman dropped the bomb. It’s time to end the occupation. The only ones who say it’s not an occupation are the same ones who say it should not end: the Americans. Everyone in Japan knows what their status is: Vassal.

  • Secret Agent

    It’s been 60 years since Truman dropped the bomb. It’s time to end the occupation. The only ones who say it’s not an occupation are the same ones who say it should not end: the Americans. Everyone in Japan knows what their status is: Vassal.

  • Chris Houston ✓ᴺᵃᵗᶦᵒᶰᵃˡᶦˢᵗ

    For 40 yrs I have been saying “Why am I paying for bases in Japan, Germany and Italy”
    Now we have 900 bases worldwide.
    The empire is going to collapse, Trump smart will fold it gracefully, much to the shagrin of the globalist world cop left.

  • Chris Houston ✓ᴺᵃᵗᶦᵒᶰᵃˡᶦˢᵗ

    For 40 yrs I have been saying “Why am I paying for bases in Japan, Germany and Italy”
    Now we have 900 bases worldwide.
    The empire is going to collapse, Trump smart will fold it gracefully, much to the shagrin of the globalist world cop left.

  • Chris Houston ✓ᴺᵃᵗᶦᵒᶰᵃˡᶦˢᵗ

    NO MORE IMMIGRATION.
    1922-1965 we had zero immigration.
    We are full up.

  • Clickonthewhatnow

    Specifically Chinese and Korean sources, right? They’re bound to be unbiased!

  • Clickonthewhatnow

    Specifically Chinese and Korean sources, right? They’re bound to be unbiased!

  • Clickonthewhatnow

    “Are you and Oliver saying he can’t be proud of his heritage UNLESS he changes his name back to what it had been before it was changed by his family BEFORE he was even born?”

    No, how about he mention that his family name used to be Drumpf? He doesn’t need to change it back, but if he’s going to tell someone else not to hide from their heritage, he’d best disclose his.