Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s meeting with U.S. President Donald Trump last Friday should be seen as part of the Abe administration’s sustained efforts to ensure that Japan-U.S. relations remain strong, stable and insulated from Trump’s “America First” punitive trade tactics and a destabilization of the decades-long Japan-U.S. alliance that has been the cornerstone of Japan and the region’s security and stability.

Both objectives reflect Japan’s long-term national interests of maintaining strong and vibrant economic ties with the United States, its second largest trade partner. More importantly, ensuring that the Japan-U.S. alliance remains the cornerstone of Japan’s security in the region is critical as the nation faces an increasingly challenging regional environment with North Korea’s acquisition of a strategic nuclear deterrent.

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