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Abe-Trump smiles mask the coming anger

Japan has bought time by feting US president but cannot stop a reckoning on trade

| Japan
Behind all the smiles and camaraderie, U.S. President Donald Trump, left, and Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe talked past one another more than sharing a common script.   © Reuters

Donald Trump visited Tokyo for four days intending to cement his "unshakable bond" with Shinzo Abe. Instead, the visit showcased why their unlikely bromance is headed for trouble.

Visually, all went as planned. The golf outing, the audience with new Emperor Naruhito, the sumo and the naval base visits were real. But mentally the U.S. president's mind proved to be thousands of miles away from his gracious Japanese hosts -- in ways that bode ill for upcoming trade talks.

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