The eventful state visit by U.S. President Donald Trump, with extensive welcome and hospitality by Emperor Naruhito and Empress Masako and overwhelming omotenashi by Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, is now behind us. Next on our diplomatic and geopolitical agenda is the Group of 20 summit in Osaka at the end of the month.
According to media reports, Abe, as chair of the G20 summit, intends to focus on data and information governance on the global level and climate change action as the key agendas of the meeting. The main issues on people's mind, including trade friction between the United States and China, and a threatening global economic outlook amid the tit-for-tat exchange of retaliatory tariffs by the world's top two economies, are reportedly not listed as priority items so far, probably due to the complex and sensitive nature of the issues.
The business community here seems to be also concerned about how the trade negotiations between Japan and the U.S. will shape up, since there is little hope that the U.S. will return to the Trans-Pacific Partnership. Despite the close personal rapport between Trump and Abe, it remains to be seen how tough negotiator the U.S. administration will turn out to be, with Trump's self-declared "tariff man" policy.