Japan’s Abe will meet China’s Xi — under the shadow of Trump

October 23, 2018

Prime Minister Shinzo Abe of Japan faces a tough balancing act as he heads to Beijing for a Thursday summit with Chinese President Xi Jinping.

Japan’s often fraught relations with China are improving — as highlighted by Abe’s Oct. 25-27 visit, the first stand-alone journey to the country by a Japanese leader in nearly seven years.

But it comes as long-time ally and security guarantor the United States wages a tariff war on China, Japan’s biggest trading partner, while occasionally tossing ominous threats Tokyo’s way as well.

“Navigating between the two is a challenge” for Abe, said Japan politics and security expert Brad Glosserman, a visiting professor at Tama University in Tokyo and senior adviser at Honolulu-based think tank Pacific Forum. Glosserman spoke to CNBC on Monday.

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