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U.S. President Donald Trump, left, and Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe at their news conference in Tokyo on Nov. 6. (Pool)

Trump visit puts Tokyo at the center of geopolitics

Abe capitalizes on election win and growing global standing

| Japan

U.S. President Donald Trump's trip to Asia could not be higher-stakes for an administration seeking to change the narrative from the ongoing Russia scandal, the first indictments of which were handed down in Washington last week. In contrast to his continued troubles at home, Trump faces newly empowered Asian hosts including Japanese Prime Minister Abe, who strengthened his hand with a resounding election victory, and Chinese President Xi Jinping, who had an even better month as he consolidated his power over China. By kicking off his trip in friendly territory with a visit to Japan and his closest international ally Abe, Trump understands how Tokyo is becoming the center for geopolitics. A year ago, if you had told us that the strongest leader of a major advanced industrial economy would not be the American president, not the German chancellor, nor the British prime minister but Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe we would have called you crazy -- but this is the current reality.

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