As Prime Minister Shinzo Abe ended a high-profile two-day meeting with U.S. President Donald Trump at his Mar-a-Lago resort in Florida Thursday, he may have felt relieved at — or possibly even proud — having just pulled off a better than expected summit that some Japan-based analysts said could have gone much worse.

The beleaguered Japanese leader was in need of a win, desperately craving an opportunity to demonstrate that Japan-U.S. solidarity remains strong, as he tries to dispel mounting criticism at home that, under his stewardship, his government as been repeatedly caught off-guard by Trump's recent policy shifts on North Korea and trade issues.

And though the two leaders still remain at loggerheads over some trade issues, they were able to largely coordinate their views on North Korea, experts said.