If friendships are based on trust and respect, then relations between the United States and Japan are facing one of their rockiest moments at a time when solid ties are critical.

First, negotiators from the 12 member nations of the Trans-Pacific Partnership trade pact acknowledged they weren't able to reach a conclusion at their Maui meeting after all.

Followed by that, the anti-secrecy group WikiLeaks released information alleging the U.S. was tapping phone calls from senior Japanese government officials and corporate executives.