Shinzo Abe’s Assassination: Make Japan a One-Parthy State: Make Japan Great Again

 

so here we have this is a video from DW

news which is a German uh public

broadcaster and they’re going to give us

a little bit of the background to the

assassination of Shinzo Abe the former

Japanese leader so let’s go ahead and

listen to some of that and then I’ll

give you more information on it Japan’s

former prime minister Shinzo Abe has

died after being shot at a campaign

event police say a 41 year old man has

been arrested in connection with the

shooting ABI was the country’s longest

serving Premiere and was well known for

his strong economic and defense policies

his killing has shocked yet Japan the

nation where Firearms are strictly

regulated and political violence so let

me just comment on that real quick there

were a bunch of uh people who lean right

and who are very pro-gun rights who used

the killing of Shinzo Abe to say look at

that bro obviously uh gun control laws

don’t work that is such a flipping and

glib and stupid response because there’s

only nine gun deaths per year in Japan

nine we have 39 000.

in the U.S

so

you gotta look at the macro statistics

and the macro statistics paint a very

very clear picture but they think

because one person was killed with a gun

they’re like oh well obviously gun

control laws don’t work well I’ll ask

those people would you rather have nine

gun deaths a year or 39 000 gun deaths a

year now by the way I’m not their laws

are super strict like way more strict

than what my preferences are but

you have to call a spade a spade and say

in terms of reducing gun violence oh it

absolutely works I mean there’s a

trade-off and you have no right at all

to a firearm there but it works in terms

of uh from a public safety perspective

anyway I digress this is extremely rare

[Music]

handled to the ground

what appears to be a weapon lying on the

road nearby clearly a makeshift weapon I

mean held together I think with literal

duct tape

people ran to the age of Japan’s former

prime minister as he lay seriously

wounded

he was quickly transferred to helicopter

and flown to hospital

at this point his condition was

described as critical but doctors were

unable to save him

confirming his death the hospital said

the 67 year old had suffered two deep

wounds including to his heart

the area in the city of Nara where this

veteran politician had been giving an

election campaign speech is now a crime

scene

the assassination has shocked Japan a

country where gun violence is rare

this is a dustedly and barbaric Acts

that took place in the midst of an

election

this is the basis of a democracy

and it’s absolutely unforgivable I would

like to use the harshest words to

condemn this act

Shinzo Abe was first elected Prime

Minister of Japan in 2006 making him at

52 the country’s youngest ever premier

it proved short-lived a year later he

quit following a string of party

scandals he was also suffering from

health problems

but he wasn’t gone for long in 2012 he

was back promising to revive Japan’s

flagging economy following years of

deflation

he even put his own name on the plan

urbanomics now by the way he was part of

What’s called the liberal Democratic

party in Japan but understand that the

liberal Democratic party is actually the

conservative party in Japan so I know

it’s so weird all these different

countries have these names for their

political parties and it will be like

contradictory to the actual ideology

that they have and that gets frustrating

and annoying but I just want everybody

to understand that he was a conservative

Abe was also hawkish on defense

expanding Japan’s military role after

years of pacifism yes let me explain

that a little bit there’s there’s um

pacifism in the Japanese Constitution

which was the United States either

helped write it or did write it after

World War II they made Japan a pacifist

Nation

for obvious reasons I mean they Japan

had allied with Nazi Germany they were

an Empire uh they had a viciously

barbaric Empire they you know massacred

Koreans they massacred uh Chinese when

they were an Empire and so they made

pacifism in the Constitution and Shinzo

Abe wanted to roll back the pacifism

that was in there and uh you know build

up the Japanese military

approved a controversial policy and he

failed to formally rewrite the country’s

pacifist Constitution

he did though bolster Japan’s security

alliance with United States

Abe was considered a strong leader on

the world stage but in 2020 he again

resigned citing poor health

it’s more just so everybody understand

it’s more

corruption than you know oh I have

health problems there were political

scandals and he uses the health thing as

an excuse

politics though was always in his blood

right up until the end

for more we can now apprecame so that’s

enough of that now let me give you some

more information on them

so um this is on the guy who killed him

the man accused of assassinating former

Japanese prime minister Shinzo Abe had

reportedly told investigators he

targeted Abe because he suspected he had

ties to a religious group that took a

huge donation from his mother law

enforcement sources cited by Kyoto news

had the suspect identified as 41 year

old tetsuya yamagami had first planned

to attack a leader of the unnamed

religious group before settling on Abe

instead yamagami is said to have told

police The Killing had nothing to do

with politics homemade guns and items

thought to be explosives were found

during a search of yamagami’s home on

Friday just hours after he allegedly

used a homemade firearm to gun Abe down

in front of a crowd watching him deliver

a campaign speech in the city of Nara

sources cited by Kyoto news said

yamagami admitted to traveling to

another city a day earlier where Abe had

had also given a campaign speech the

police chief of the perfect prefecture

which is the Japanese it’s a state

basically where the shocking killing

took place admitted on Sat today that

there were problems with the safety

measures taken and took full

responsibility for the lapses that led

to Abe’s death so look I haven’t seen

anything particularly convincing on the

motives of the guy who did this

assassination this is the line that I’ve

heard

um

seems kind of weak if you ask me I saw

some speculation that effectively the

guy who did The Killing was like

part of Japan’s version of Q Anon if you

will

um I don’t know I don’t know none of

this stuff seems particularly convincing

or solid to me in terms of developing a

motive

um more on Shinzo Abe here this is in

The Daily Beast Shinzo Abe was Trump

before Trump except he pulled it off

Japan’s former prime minister Shinzo Abe

died on Thursday in a scene reminiscent

of the Yakuza films he loved so much

that’s of course the Japanese Mafia

gunned down in a crowd by a lone shooter

who didn’t even try to escape the nation

was shocked to learn that he had passed

away when it was reported by state

broadcaster NHK there were many hoping

that he might still pull through and

Nara passerbys began to place flowers on

the site where he was shot some praying

for his safe journey through the spirit

world to his next Incarnation 15 years

before the bloody incident Shinzo Abe

was considered politically finished when

he resigned from office during his first

dentist prime minister he was exhausted

disliked and unable to weather the

tsunami of scandals that surrounded his

cabinet but in 2012 he came back from

the graveyard of failed Prime Ministers

to rule for almost eight years when news

spread that he had been shot twice and

was in critical condition his supporters

hoped that he might be able to pull off

another miracle a physical resurrection

that didn’t happen but the man who

Donald Trump adviser Stephen Bannon

famously praised As Trump before Trump

leaves behind a legacy that may have

forever changed pan he reduced it to a

Perpetual one-party democracy that seems

unlikely to change ABI certainly seems

to have had a Playbook that was similar

to Donald Trump’s he was a populist who

tapped into racism and fears of change

to stoke his base and consolidate power

during his Exile from Power Abe and his

cabinet members allied with anti-korean

and other xenophobic groups Abe drummed

up anti-korean sentiment to bolster his

support and made sure his allies did the

dog whistles while he kept his hands

clean while Trump portrayed immigrants

as the boogeyman threatening Japan I

think that was supposed to say

threatening America Abe latched on to

deep-rooted anti-korean sentiment

towards both the Korean residents of

Japan who stayed after the war and

citizens of South and North Korea former

colonies of Japan he appointed ariko

yamatani a woman closely associated with

the flamingly anti-korean group zaitoku

Kai to be the head of the National

Public Safety commission that oversees

National Police agency the National

Police agency he also embraced uh Nippon

kaiji a conservative Shinto cult and

political Lobby you could aptly compare

his alliance with them to Trump’s

absorption of the Tea Party and other

far-right elements of the Republican

Party

even while out of power the liberal

Democratic party with Abe exerting

influence developed plans for a new

Imperial Constitution for Japan the

removal of the post-war Constitution

which was written with the help of the

American occupation not by them as some

claim now during his political Exile Abe

even briefly became head of an extremist

Think Tank Nihon sosei which is create

Japan made up of ldp liberal Democratic

party lawmakers and other conservative

superstars in May 2012 the organization

released a clip of him Gathering titled

the swearing-in of the revised

Constitution for Japan in which he and

his cronies discussed the ldp’s

substitute Constitution there were some

astonishing moments a former Minister of

Justice nagasi jinen appointed during

Abe’s first term in office told the

crowd the people’s sovereignty basic

human rights and pacifism these three

things date to the post-war regime

imposed by MacArthur General MacArthur

on Japan therefore we have to get rid of

them by making the Constitution our own

Abe loudly applauded this get rid of

basic human rights democracy and wage

Warfare also restore the emperor to

power

in other words make Japan great again

it’s no wonder that years later Steve

Bannon would say that Abe was Trump

before Trump Abe for many

excuse me Abe for many years the most

powerful man in Japan’s ruling political

party the liberal Democratic party in

fact he was campaigning for their

candidates in the coming Upper House

elections when he was shot on Thursday

the ldp was founded in 1955 by Abe’s

grandfather a former war criminal who

also served as prime minister they were

funded with money from Yakuza associate

and CIA operative yoshio Kodama but

starting with his Fall From Grace the

ldp’s popularity sank in 2009 it seemed

like Japan might really change and for

the better for only the second time

since 1955 the perpetually corrupt and

archley conservative liberal Democratic

party was kicked out of power and the

liberal egalitarian feminist leaning

Democratic party of Japan took hold of

The reigns of power it was a revolution

but it didn’t last long the dpj had

risen to power partly with expectations

that they would be cleaner and less

criminal than the ldp but then one

scandal after another implicating the

party’s top management and unsavory ties

with the Yakuza through dirt on their

squeaky clean image the lower house

elections of 2012 were a political

meltdown almost all the opposition

parties including the dpj were decimated

and we know who returned from the

political graveyard ready to rule Japan

with a rusty iron fist Shinzo Abe was

quick to take revenge upon his critics

once back in power labeling the liberal

newspaper Asahi shimbun an enemy of the

people later he would tell Donald Trump

you should handle the New York Times the

way I handled acai

wow he bullied the left-wing media and

whined and dimed the right-wing media

dragging Japan’s press freedom from 11th

in the world to as low as 72nd Place in

in world rankings in 2014 he created a

cabinet Personnel Bureau which exercised

ruthless control of bureaucratic

appointments assuring that any

government worker who didn’t toe the

line or released information

contradicting the government was either

shunned fired or sidelined so very

authoritarian on press freedoms is what

you’re learning here

it worked very effectively and some

high-ranking officials even took it upon

themselves to cover up Abe related

scandals without direct orders to do so

television anchors and pundits that were

too critical of Abe vanished from the

airwaves the world’s largest newspaper

the yomiyuri shimbun smeared the biggest

critic in the education Ministry for

frequenty frequenting sexy bars in

kabukicho so smearing his political

opponents

he had no qualms about using the media

for defamation campaigns and the media

and eager for spoon-fed Scoops was happy

to comply eventually in 2020 the weight

of political scandals and an

investigation into election law

violations by Abe forced him to resign

under the guise of medical issues a few

months later he threw his political

secretary onto the bus and was more or

less exonerated he kept a low profile

for months but couldn’t resist the

Limelight Shinzo Abe failed to change

even one word of Japan’s constitution in

the end but did pass several laws that

are still eating away at it including

article 9 Japan’s Declaration of

pacifism his greatest achievement having

so thoroughly discredited opposition

parties in critical media that Japan

isn’t even reminiscent of a two-party

democracy it’s a one-party democracy

where the media has its tails between

its legs and is likely to stay that way

for decades

so

um

that gives you

um a look into who Shinzo Abe is what

his ideology is and um the background

around that

and then also look it super conservative

guy

um

wanted to be more militaristic make

Japan less pacifist uh hardliner on

immigration

anti-korean anti-chinese authoritarian

when it comes to the Press now that’s

not none of this is to say that homeboys

should have been assassinated of course

not uh but you should understand the

background and who Abe is and again as

far as the motive of the guy who did The

Killing

I still don’t have any answer that I

find uh convincing I told you what’s

been reported but you know I have a

feeling that maybe over time we’ll learn

more or maybe we’ll never learn more but

that’s not I don’t think that’s the full

the full reasoning so by the way we’ll

end on this note

um

as a result of the assassination now

Shinzo Abe’s right-wing party the

liberal Democratic party as it’s called

is even more popular

they surged in the polls after the

assassination so

there you have it

um you know giant political event and um

of course other world leaders have come

out and and uh

offered condolences and Trump said

something about

um Abe being assassinated uh Trump had

played golf with him a number of times

random side point but

anyway there you have it uh momentous

event of a former Japanese leader being

assassinated hey y’all do me a favor and

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Trump’s Ignorant Comments About Japan Were Bad Even for Him

His needlessly provocative remarks should take everyone’s breath away.

President Trump reserves some of his worst behavior for foreign trips, such as abasing himself before President Vladimir V. Putin of Russia in Helsinki a year ago, skipping a ceremony in France last fall to honor American soldiers killed in World War I (too rainy, the White House said) and insulting the mayor of London earlier this month. Yet even by Mr. Trump’s dismal standards, his performance this week before the G-20 summit in Osaka, Japan, should take everyone’s breath away. More than yet another demonstration of his erratic behavior, this was also an object lesson in the dangers of his context-free hostility to the world beyond the United States.

Before arriving in Japan, Mr. Trump had reportedly been musing about withdrawing the United States from the security treaty with Japan signed in 1951 and revised in 1960 — the cornerstone of the alliance between the United States and Japan and a pillar of American foreign policy. On Wednesday, asked about the treaty on Fox News, Mr. Trump sneered, “If Japan is attacked, we will fight World War III.” Then he added: “But if we’re attacked, Japan doesn’t have to help us at all. They can watch it on a Sony television.”

Mr. Trump’s comment demonstrates a strategic cluelessness and historical ignorance that would disqualify a person from even a modest desk job at the State Department.

Though Mr. Trump implied that the security treaty favors Japan, it was largely dictated by the United States. After Imperial Japan surrendered to the Allies in August 1945, ending World War II, the country was placed under an American-led occupation overseen by the domineering Gen. Douglas MacArthur. When that occupation ended in April 1952, Japan had turned away from militarism to embrace ideals of pacifism and democracy. Under Article 9 of a new Constitution that was originally drafted in English at MacArthur’s headquarters, Japan renounced war and pledged never to maintain land, sea or air forces.

Furthermore, Mr. Trump insults his Japanese hosts by overlooking how Japan actually responded when the United States was attacked on Sept. 11, 2001. The Japanese public grieved for their American allies after the terrorist attacks, which also killed some Japanese citizens. Japan’s conservative and pro-American prime minister, Junichiro Koizumi, took the massacre as an opportunity to reconsider Article 9 and urge his country to shoulder more international responsibilities. His government rammed through an antiterrorism law which enabled Japan’s Self-Defense Force to provide support for the American campaign in Afghanistan, although — because of the country’s official pacifism — without fighting or directly supporting combat operations.

When President George W. Bush invaded Iraq in 2003, Mr. Koizumi was one of his staunchest foreign supporters. Although Japan remained constitutionally forbidden from joining in the invasion or taking a direct military role, Mr. Koizumi’s government passed a special law allowing the Self-Defense Force to help in humanitarian support missions in postwar Iraq. Hundreds of Japanese ground troops in Iraq provided water and medical help, and fixed roads and buildings. One might reasonably fault Mr. Koizumi, as plenty of Japanese do, for going along with Mr. Bush’s disastrous invasion — but it is far harder to blame Japan, as Mr. Trump does, for not standing alongside the United States.

Mr. Trump’s words are also a pointless slap to Japan’s right-wing prime minister, Shinzo Abe, who has ardently sought to cultivate a relationship with Mr. Trump and is trying to mediate a way out of the crisis between the United States and Iran. The 1960 treaty was signed by Mr. Abe’s grandfather, Nobusuke Kishi, another prime minister. During a four-day state visit to Japan in May, Mr. Abe flattered Mr. Trump with an extraordinary meeting with Japan’s new emperor, a sumo wrestling match and a lavish state banquet at the Imperial Palace. Yet standing next to Mr. Abe at a news conference in Tokyo, Mr. Trump shrugged off Japanese fears about North Korea’s recent tests of short-range ballistic missiles that could kill thousands of Japanese civilians.

What could Mr. Trump possibly hope to gain from his ignorant, ungrateful and antagonistic behavior? He is unlikely to withdraw from the security treaty. Yet by questioning the alliance with Japan, Mr. Trump encourages North Korea and a rising China to test that bond. His words undercut an essential alliance for no evident reason and erode the stability of a strategic region torn by rivalry.

And we are all so used to it by now that it barely registers.

Trump’s trip to Europe was a complete disaster, and not because he acted like a boorish bully

On his recent visit to Europe, he managed to convey once again his contempt for America’s European allies, and to demonstrate that he places more value on his own personal comfort than on the sacrifices that US soldiers have made in the past.

The trip itself cost millions of taxpayer dollars, yet Trump chose to skip a key ceremony honoring US war dead at Aisne-Marne American Cemetery because it was raining.

The White House offered up a cloud of unconvincing excuses for Trump’s absence, but other world leaders were not deterred by the fear of a few raindrops, and neither were past presidents ObamaClinton, Bush, or Kennedy back in their day.

By choosing to stay warm and dry in his hotel room while other world leaders acknowledged the heroism of those who fought and died for freedom, Trump gave the concept of “American exceptionalism” a whole new meaning.

Overall, Trump seemed intent on proving that while the obligations of being president might force him to go on such trips, he doesn’t have to behave himself while he’s there.

For example, Trump is correct to accuse China of engaging in a variety of predatory trade practices and of failing to live up to its World Trade Organization commitments. He is also right when he complains that Europe has neglected its own defenses and relies too much on American protection (though he still seems to think NATO is a club with membership dues)..

He is hardly the first US official to criticize European defense preparations but being unoriginal doesn’t make it wrong.

Trump is also correct in his belief that Europe, Russia, and the United States would be better off if the divisions that presently divide them could be bridged or at least alleviated.

It would be better for Europe if Russia withdrew from Ukraine, stopped trying to intimidate the Baltic states, and stopped murdering former spies in foreign countries.

It would be good for Russia if Western sanctions were lifted and it no longer had to worry about open-ended NATO expansion. And it would be good for the United States if Russia could be pulled away from its increasingly close partnership with China.

For that matter, Trump wasn’t wrong to see North Korea’s nuclear and long-range missile programs as a serious problem that called for creative diplomacy.

The real problem is that Trump has no idea what to do about any of these issues, and he seems incapable of formulating a coherent approach to any of them. To the extent that he does have an actual policy toward Europe, for example, it is the exact opposite of what the United States ought to be doing.

Trump’s broad approach to Europe is one of “divide and rule.” He’s called the European Union a “foe” of the United States, and he has backed a number of the political forces that are now roiling the Continent and threatening the EU’s long-term future.

He endorsed Brexit, expressed his support for Marine Le Pen in France, and thinks well of illiberal leaders like Viktor Orban of Hungary and Andrzej Duda of Poland. Why? Because he thinks dividing Europe into contending national states will allow the larger and more powerful United States to bargain with each European state separately rather than face all of them together, and thus secure better deals for itself.

This approach might be termed “Neanderthal realism.” Playing “divide and rule” is a good idea when dealing with real enemies, but it makes no sense to sow division among countries with whom one has generally friendly relations and close economic ties, and when their collective support might be needed in other contexts.

This approach also runs counter to Trump’s stated desire to reduce US security commitments to Europe and to get Europe to take on greater responsibility for its own defense.

If you really want the United States to get out of the business of protecting Europe, you should also want Europe to be tranquil, capable, prosperous, and united after the United States withdraws. Why? So that Washington doesn’t have to worry about developments there and can focus its attention on other regions, such as Asia.

A Europe roiled by xenophobia, resurgent hyper-nationalism, and persistent internal wrangling wouldn’t be to America’s advantage; it would be just another problem area we’d have to keep an eye on.

Nor would a divided Europe be of much use in addressing any of the other problems on America’s foreign-policy agenda.

Why doesn’t Trump see this? Possibly because he is reflexively relying on the same tactics that brought him to the White House.

It has worked tolerably well here in the United States, because a lot of Americans are still angry or fearful and Trump is both shameless and adept at fueling those emotions. This same instinct leads him to behave abominably abroad: Insulting British Prime Minister Theresa May and London Mayor Sadiq Khan, deriding Prime Minister Justin Trudeau of Canada as “Very dishonest & weak” or derisively tossing Starburst candies to German Chancellor Angela Merkel during a meeting of G-7 leaders.

.. The problem, of course, is that the boorish behavior and conflict-stoking policies tend to backfire on the world stage.

.. Trump’s bullying bluster didn’t win big trade concessions from Canada, Mexico, or South Korea; the shiny “new” trade deals Trump negotiated with them were nearly identical to the old arrangements and in some ways inferior to them.

And given how Trump has treated America’s allies, why would May, Merkel, Macron, Abe, or Trudeau do him (or the United States) any favors? The declining US image abroad compounds this problem, as foreign leaders know their own popularity will suffer if they help Trump in any way.

.. Trump’s personal conduct is not even the biggest problem. Arguably, an even bigger issue is the strategic incoherence of his entire transactional approach. His overarching objective is to try to screw the best possible deal out of every interaction, but this approach instead makes it more difficult for the United States to achieve its most important foreign-policy goals.

.. Threatening trade wars with allies in Europe or Canada makes little sense from a purely economic perspective, for example, and it has made it harder for the United States to address the more serious challenge of China’s trade policies.

If Trump were as worried about China’s trade infractions as he claims to be, he would have lined up Europe, Japan, and other major economic actors and confronted China with a united front. Similarly, pulling out of the Iran nuclear deal and threatening allies with secondary sanctions not only raises doubts about America’s judgment (because the deal was working, and the Europeans know it); it just fuels further resentment at America’s shortsighted bullying.

.. It is increasingly clear that Trump was never the brilliant businessman he claimed to be; he got most of his wealth from his father using various shady tax dodges, and the Trump Organization may have been heavily dependent on illegal activities like money laundering.

.. We should focus less on his personal antics and inadequacies and focus more on his inability to formulate effective policies, even on issues where his instincts are in fact mostly correct.

.. Sadly, the 45th US president possesses a world-class ability to get things wrong, even when he’s right.

Donald Trump and the fish food dump: How early reports got it wrong

It was a story that seemed to reinforce stereotypes of President Donald Trump: On a visit to Japan, he was handed a box of food for a ritual feeding of carp, and after doling out a few spoons’ worth, he got impatient and dumped the rest of the box all at once.

Initial reports of the food dump — like this early video from CNN — suggested that Trump acted on his own. This pushed the late-night Twitterverse and blogosphere into a tizzy. The website Jezebel posted a story headlined, “Big Stupid Baby Dumps Load Of Fish Food On Japanese Koi Pond.”

U.S. allies see Trump’s steel tariffs as an insult

No world leader has tried harder to get on President Trump’s good side than Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe. Whether racing to New York the day after the 2016 election and presenting Trump with a $3,755 gold-plated golf driver, or taking him out on the golf course and serving hamburgers for lunch, Abe has cultivated a close personal relationship with his American counterpart.

.. But now, Japan, which is not just led by a friendly politician but also is a key security ally of the United States, looks likely to be slapped with tariffs on its steel exports to the United States. And to add insult to injury, the reason, Trump says, is rooted in national security.

“The U.S. is suddenly treating Japan as a target,” said Tsuyoshi Kawase, a professor of international trade policy at Sophia University in Tokyo. “The Japanese side is bewildered and confused.”

.. countries that figured, no matter the bumps in relations with Washington, they would wind up on the same side against China in any dispute over steel or unfair trade practices. And yet suddenly there is talk of a trade war between the United States and its supposed friends.
.. Even those leaders who have grown accustomed to the zigs and zags of the Trump White House say this could be different. The consequences of Trump’s targeting other priorities — the Paris climate agreement and the Iran nuclear deal chief among them — have not had an immediate, concrete effect. But the tariffs could soon put citizens in ally nations out of work, and if a trade war escalates, all sides could feel the pain, officials from Brasília to Brussels to Seoul say.“The impulsiveness of the decision caught us by surprise,” said Diego Bonomo, the head of foreign trade at the National Trade Association of Brazil. His country is the second-largest exporter of steel to the United States.

“It’s an economic shot in the foot,” he said. “When they impose tariffs to hurt Brazilian steel, they hurt their own coal exports and exports of products that use steel.”

.. Trump’s order came hours after Japan and 10 other countries formalized a new Pacific free-trade agreement

.. The announcement also upended a Saturday meeting of the top U.S., E.U. and Japanese trade negotiators, who were originally scheduled to convene to talk about how to take on what they say is China’s unfair support for its steel industry. Instead, officials say, the meeting may turn out to be the first salvo in an unfolding and escalating trade skirmish.

.. The frustration is compounded by Trump’s national security rationale. In fact, say U.S. allies, there is no national security risk to importing steel and aluminum from one’s closest military partners. And any move that damages their own industries also hits at overall NATO readiness and hurts trust among allies, they say.

.. But that response could backfire, some analysts say. If the WTO rules against the White House, and Trump chooses to ignore the ruling, that could effectively spell the end of the organization.

.. “To be honest, everyone kind of agrees with us,” said the official, who spoke on the condition of anonymity to discuss closed-door European efforts. “I haven’t found anyone who says, ‘No no, the president is right.’ ”

.. The prospect of steel tariffs follows on the heels of similar levies on solar panels and washing machines. But it comes at a sensitive time on the front of North Korean diplomacy.

..  tariffs could have a “negative impact on South Korea-U.S. relations,”

.. Many in Japan worry that Trump’s effort may ultimately undermine global security, not bolster it.

“When trade friction grows between allies, the alliance is weakened,” Watanabe said. “But it’s unclear if Trump understands that.”