Why a Trump-Kim summit poses problems for Japan

US President Donald Trump has agreed to meet North Korean leader Kim Jong Un by May - a move that caught many off guard. Japanese Premier Shinzo Abe will try to impress upon the US not to cut a deal with North Korea that could leave Japan's security
Japanese Premier Shinzo Abe will try to impress upon the US not to cut a deal with North Korea that could leave Japan's security needs exposed, says the writer.PHOTOS: AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE
US President Donald Trump has agreed to meet North Korean leader Kim Jong Un by May - a move that caught many off guard. Japanese Premier Shinzo Abe will try to impress upon the US not to cut a deal with North Korea that could leave Japan's security
US President Donald Trump has agreed to meet North Korean leader Kim Jong Un (above) by May - a move that caught many off guard. PHOTOS: AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE
US President Donald Trump has agreed to meet North Korean leader Kim Jong Un by May - a move that caught many off guard. Japanese Premier Shinzo Abe will try to impress upon the US not to cut a deal with North Korea that could leave Japan's security
US President Donald Trump (above) has agreed to meet North Korean leader Kim Jong Un by May - a move that caught many off guard. PHOTOS: AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE

US President Donald Trump's offer to meet North Korean strongman Kim Jong Un caught many off guard and has since sparked a flurry of discussions on what it could mean for Washington and its relations with Pyongyang.

One important actor, which seems to have been flummoxed by the pace and scale of the recent events and feels left out in the cold, is Tokyo.

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A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on March 14, 2018, with the headline 'Why a Trump-Kim summit poses problems for Japan'. Subscribe