Rex Tillerson, the American Secretary of State, traveled to Japan and on Thursday, reassured the country of the United States commitment to its allies. Currently, the biggest problem which the United Stated and its Asian allies have is the North Korean threat, especially their nuclear tests which happened twice in the last three weeks. The country also stated that it is planning to test a missile that could even reach the United States. Before talking with Foreign Minister Fumio Kishida, Tillerson accentuated the importance of his visit and that his country values the relationship with Japan enormously. In his trip, The Secretary of State will also visit South Korea, another important ally for the United States, and China.
A time full of tensions
Everybody was very curious to hear what Rex Tillerson had to say because for 50 days he has not discussed US foreign policy with the media. He also did not take part in the White House meetings with various foreign leaders. Because of this, some people started wondering how much influence he has with president Trump.
Rex Tillerson’s foreign visit comes at a very troubled time, especially for the Asian powers. Recently, South Korea has remained without a president after the recent impeachment of Park Geun-Hye. The country also has a tense relationship with China. This is because the United States wants to deploy a missile defense system on its territory and China does not agree. In its turn, China reopened the issue of the territorial claims in the South and the East China Sea. As for Japan and South Korea, the two countries also have their own diplomatic issues. Especially after Japan recalled its ambassador to Seoul as a way of protesting a statue which commemorated Korean women who were sex slaves for the Japanese soldiers during World War II.
Tillerson reassures Japan
The government of Japan wanted to build a relationship with the Secretary of State a quickly as possible. He lacks the experience of working with the country’s Asian allies. Also, at the moment, there is nobody to advise him. As for the reassurance for the Japanese government, it was needed. Secretary of Defense Jim Mattis visited Tokyo and the Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe visited president Trump in Washington and Florida. However, that might not have been enough. Japan’s worries come from what Donald Trump said during the presidential campaign. However, it seems that at least for the moment, the United States will continue to support its Asian allies.
Rex Tillerson acted in his usual style, not offering details about what he has been doing. He did the same thing when he visited Germany and Mexico City and kept a low profile. Moreover, he received many critics when he took only one reporter from a conservative news website inside his plane. He did not talk with the press nor visited the American Embassy. Instead, Tillerson chose to stay inside the hotel and reportedly received briefings. All in all, it seems like Japan can now be certain about the United States’ commitment to its Asian allies, despite Donald Trump’s declarations.
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