Another book full of extraordinary revelations about the Trump presidency, “Rage” by Bob Woodward, will be published September 15. It is based partly on 18 on-the-record interviews between December 2019 and July 2020 with Donald Trump.
Among the pre-released excerpts and recordings of interviews is one that should capture the attention of Japanese officials.
In a discussion with Woodward, Trump called the U.S. military “suckers” for paying the extensive costs to protect South Korea. “We’re defending you, we’re allowing you to exist,” Mr. Trump said of South Korea.
Trump’s statement and sentiment reflects his cynical attitude about alliances and allies and is consistent with earlier indications that he also wants Japan to pay substantially more for U.S. military “protection.”
This is just one of many issues with the U.S.-Japan security pact and U.S. relations in general that Japan must address to protect its defense, geopolitical and economic interests in light of growing regional tensions.