News analysis

Trump refuses to budge on trade despite Abe's courtship

Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and United States President Donald Trump flashed uncharacteristically wide grins in a wefie while on the golf course on Sunday, the optics being that of two best friends having a fun day out.

Mr Abe's charm offensive began with gold-plated golf clubs that he presented during a visit to New York to meet the then President-elect in November 2016. Since then, there have been 11 summits, over 30 phone calls and five golf outings between them.

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A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on May 29, 2019, with the headline 'Trump refuses to budge on trade despite Abe's courtship'. Print Edition | Subscribe