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Trump, sumo and the limits of strategic flattery

Abe buys time with adulation of US president but fails to win support for Japan's real interests

| Japan
Trump presents the President's Cup to wrestler Asanoyama: there would be no limits to how far Japan's leader will go to stroke Trump's vanity. (Photo by Akira Kodaka)

Donald Trump's recent visit to Japan was the culmination of a campaign by Prime Minister Shinzo Abe to sustain strong U.S.-Japan ties in the face of resistance from a mercurial American President who has persistently questioned the value of Washington's alliances.

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