When it comes to making international statements about another leader’s trustworthiness, perhaps a leader who himself was not elected to the top by the majority of the electorate is not the most qualified person to do so (“Abe says Trump can be trusted” in the Nov. 19 edition.)

Only a few weeks ago, Prime Minister Shinzo Abe was deemed unfit and insufficiently trustworthy to tamper with the Constitution (“Majority against changing top law under Abe,” Oct. 29).

Rather than vouching for Donald Trump, Abe seems to be have been aiming at a kickback effect, whereby he could promote his own image to the Japanese taxpayer at Trump’s expense.

When it comes to photo ops, Abe may be one of the most devious exploiters of others’ misery. For example, this year he visited a safe location in Kumamoto well after the earthquakes in what felt like a highly choreographed “fly in, fly out” publicity stunt.

He didn’t even deign to visit Sagamihara, Kanagawa Prefecture, the site of Japan’s worst postwar slaying spree, probably because it didn’t offer enough political capital for his personal benefit.

The measure of a man may be the people who he is ready to coddle. For Abe, this has included high-profile political henchmen like Vladimir Putin and Rodrigo Duterte, plus many more equally evil or even worse heavies whose names are not well-known enough in Japan for people to grasp what depths he is ready to sink to.

Adding bathos to insult, all we know about Abe’s evaluation of the most dangerous man in the world is that he spent just over an hour with him, they exchanged golf goods, and they took too many fake-smile photos.

I am guessing that Trump’s Japanese is as bad as Abe’s English, which accounts for his excuse that he couldn’t actually tell anyone what was said at the meeting other than it was “unofficial.”

So could it be that they didn’t exchange any words of importance at all, and that Abe merely flattered Trump in an attempt to make himself look good just to assist him with his subtext mandate, resetting Japan’s Constitution to pre-1945 values?


The opinions expressed in this letter to the editor are the writer’s own and do not necessarily reflect the policies of The Japan Times.

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