10:41 GMT02 April 2020
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    If Donald Trump fulfills his election promises on the Trans-Pacific Partnership agreement and burden sharing within US military alliances, he will actually jeopardize Washington's geopolitical and economic positions, Dr. Seijiro Takeshita of the University of Shizuoka, Japan, told Sputnik.

    If newly-elected US President Donald Trump fulfills all the promises he has made during his electoral campaign, he will jeopardize  US positions on the world arena, Dr. Seijiro Takeshita, Professor of the School of Management and Information at the University of Shizuoka, told Radio Sputnik.

    "It's pretty obvious to anyone's eyes that all things he [Trump] has basically promised aren't going to be conducted in reality because… all these things would in fact jeopardize the US position if he actually [fulfills] his promises," Takeshita told Sputnik.

    What is scary about Trump's words and what is typical for populism is that it changes its direction quickly, he remarked, adding that populists usually talking without actually assessing  what they have said.

    According to the Japanese academic, one should face reality and realize how far Donald Trump could actually go while fulfilling his promises.

    "If he abolishes TPP [Trans-Pacific Partnership], as he has promised it would in the long term to jeopardize the US position. Certainly it would have also meant a rise in the relative strength of countries like China," Takeshita emphasized, stressing that such a move would affect not only Washington's geopolitical posture but also the country's economy, dealing a serious blow to the people who voted for him.

    Commenting on Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte congratulating Donald Trump on his victory, the Japanese academic expressed his doubts that the Philippine leader's remarks mean a return to business as usual.

    However, according to Takeshita, it is not the Philippines which pose a challenge to the Asia Pacific region, but China.

    "What we [Japan, the US] have to do is to solidify our forces to halt the imperialist type of approach China is taking right now," the Japanese academic stated.

    He believes that following the US election, Beijing may jump at the opportunity "to expand its horizons" in the South China Sea.

    "Probably we will see a lot of discord [between China and] the United States especially regarding security measures," he suggested.

    Takeshita pointed out that it was reported earlier that Trump is going to ask for the Japanese and South Korean military to exhibit more independence, adding that it won't add to the region's stability.

    The academic does not think that Japan's Southeast Asian neighbors would like to see Tokyo rearm itself; however, it is not possible for Japan to regress to the mindset that dominated its international policy in the 1930s, he added.

    On the other hand, Takeshita remains skeptical about Trump's idea of fair "burden sharing" among the US and its allies. According to the academic, Tokyo has contributed a lot to the US-Japanese security alliance.

    "If he [Trump] is asking for more it will also induce a lot of right-wing movements in Japan. They will say 'Hey, why won't we arm ourselves then, why should we listen to the United States?' Which again would not do anybody any good," he explained.

    "We cannot protect ourselves, obviously, from China" he admitted, "We do need allies like the United States and if we are going to rearm ourselves to protect ourselves then it is going to cost us dearly."

    Takeshita expressed his hopes that Trump will understand the real situation on the ground and reconsider his approaches.

    Ayako Mie of Japan Times echoes Takeshita's concerns.

    "The billionaire businessman represents uncharted waters, a situation that could undermine the Japan-US alliance and upend regional security in Asia," she writes.

    The journalist notes that Washington's pivot to Asia strategy has always been a priority for both Barack Obama and Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton.

    "For his part, Trump has not expressed clearly what his policy will be in Asia other than to accuse China of stealing US jobs and manipulating its currency," she highlights.

    Interestingly enough, according to a survey commissioned by the South China Morning Post, almost 88 percent of Japanese voters favored Hillary Clinton, while only 7 percent supported her political opponent Donald Trump.

    The Philippine Daily Inquirer also assumed that Trump may eventually abandon Washington's pivot to Asia strategy and "junk" the TPP project.

    According to the media outlet, the world will see a broader reconfiguration of US relations with the Asia Pacific nations.

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    Philippines' President Hopes Ties With US to Improve Under Trump Administration
    Watch Out, Duterte: Why Philippines Now Under Threat of Revolt or Military Coup
    Tags:
    US foreign policy, pivot to Asia, alliance, 2016 US Presidential election, NATO, Rodrigo Duterte, Hillary Clinton, Donald Trump, Asia-Pacific, China, Japan, Philippines
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