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What was once alternately dismissed as a marketing ploy, a publicity stunt, a joke, America’s flirtation with authoritarianism and a long shot, will now control the next administration of the United States. Whatever shock that may come from the result will need to quickly be put aside as decision-makers in Tokyo and the rest of Asia begin to grapple with how to deal pragmatically with U.S. President-elect Donald Trump.

The first thing to realize about the Trump administration is that it will involve serious people, not only sycophants, careerists, and Twitter eggs. Trump has supporters beyond the internet fever swamps of the alt-right and the loud partisans that pack his rallies.

Many of these people have extensive government, policy and political experience, and understand how to work the levers of power. But they are not generally “establishment” people, people that foreign governments have worked with in the past and have familiarity with.

Those familiar with Trump’s campaign say that “Trump will remember” the Republicans who came out against him with the clear implication that they will have no role in the Trump administration. The people the Trump administration will turn to are largely newcomers and while they may have international experience, they will be unfamiliar to most of their counterparts. There will be friction as each side gets to know each other and that’s partly the idea — Trump wants to shake up everything, including the U.S.’ relations with other countries, not least of all Japan.

This ties in to the fundamental philosophy of Trump’s campaign. Beyond the gaffes and rants, there’s a coherent ideology behind the movement that will color its approach to governance and international relations.

Essentially, Trump views the U.S. as a company. His candidacy is best thought of as the political equivalent of a corporate “hostile takeover” of the U.S. government, replacing the status quo with a style of governance imported from the corporate world that values growth, financial management and effective deal-making.

When Trump harangues U.S. trade negotiators for the United States’ “bad” trade agreements, this is the context that he’s coming from — not David Ricardo, but “The Art of the Deal.” This is why his trade and economic policies are so alarming to most international economists but sound like received wisdom to many free market disciples. They’re simply speaking different languages.

As it relates to Japan, this can be illustrated in two examples. First, the Trump administration will probably scrap the Trans-Pacific Partnership in favor of making bilateral agreements, presumably in order to increase U.S. leverage over its counterparts.

In his excellent article “President Trump’s First Term,” Evan Osnos describes a story in 1990 related by a former U.S. nuclear arms negotiator, where Trump told him that the trick to cutting a “terrific” deal with the Soviets was to arrive late to the meeting, stand over the Soviet negotiator, stick his finger in his counterpart’s chest and say “F—k you!” It’s unclear that his appointees will follow the same approach, but the example seems to demonstrate Trump’s basic approach to international negotiations.

The second area where this approach will be applied will be toward U.S. bases in Japan and Japan’s contribution to its defense. His administration will expect Japan to pay more for U.S. bases and to have the ability to perform more independently. The U.S.-Japan alliance is still the basis of Japan’s security policy and the idea of having to take a more independent role will cause discomfort within the Japanese government, never mind the anxiety it would create in the Japanese public. It’s not clear how far the Trump administration will push Japan on this, but the security relationship will at least become more expensive for Japan.

There are practical issues of vetting appointees for security clearances and given the experience of campaign adviser Paul Manafort, who was dismissed following revelations of dealings with the Ukrainian government, it’s likely that additional Trump associates will have similar conflicts of interest that will slow down the vetting process and disqualify many possible appointees. Once candidates are successfully vetted, they will need to survive a contentious Senate confirmation process. With these roadblocks in mind, the total process to staff every position from undersecretaries to assistant secretaries to ambassadors may take years.

In the meantime, vacant positions would be staffed by civil servants performing in an “acting” capacity that would bring continuity and expertise to U.S. policy. However, one of the goals of a Trump administration will be to end lifetime employment for federal employees, allowing him to fire civil servants at will. The practical outcome of this would resemble Turkish President Erdogan’s purge of Gulenists following the failed coup in July.

Finally, it’s fair to ask how much influence the alt-right will have in the Trump administration. Even if they don’t receive appointments in the administration, Trump will rely on their support as an animating force in his base. They don’t represent all Americans but they’re loud, ascendant, and have an advocate in the White House. The long term damage will be immeasurable to the U.S.’ image as a liberal democracy, especially the one that helped give Japan its democracy. Repairing that damage will be the biggest challenge.

Paul Nadeau is a private secretary for a member of the Diet’s Lower House.

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