Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe is proud of his personal rapport with US President Donald Trump. He was the first international leader to meet the new American leader, racing up the golden elevators in New York's Trump Tower days after the 2016 US election, clutching an expensive golf club as a personal gift and hailing Mr Trump as "a very successful businessman with extraordinary talents".
That worked for Japan. Although Mr Abe failed to persuade Mr Trump to uphold the Pacific trade pact, he did get the American leader to reaffirm the importance of the US-Japan security alliance and to quietly shelve electoral campaign threats to restrict Japanese car imports.
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