Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and visiting Chinese State Councillor and Foreign Minister Wang Yi shared the view on Monday that the denuclearization of North Korea is a common goal for both Japan and China.
"I can tell you from negotiations I've had with the North Koreans in the Bush administration - and Democrats in the Clinton administration will tell you the same thing - when the North Koreans say denuclearisation of Korean peninsula what they mean is that the United States has to end is nuclear umbrella over Japan and South Korea and withdraw its forces and end its threat".
While Abe had cultivated close ties with Trump, becoming the first foreign leader to meet him after his election, he has also faced disputes with the U.S. leader over trade.
The visit will be an opportunity for the two leaders to discuss Trump's upcoming summit with North Korea, which Japan eyes warily.
Now that Kim Jong-un and Donald Trump have agreed to meet, however, Tokyo must also consider its stake in any potential negotiations over the future of the Korean Peninsula. This is based on the "unmentioned swipe" at the Trump administration in relation to a possible trade war.
The latest signs of trouble for Abe come ahead of his summit this week with President Donald Trump, where the hard topics of North Korea's nuclear and missile threats and touchy trade matters will be on the agenda.
Both are embroiled in controversies surrounding dodgy financial deals but, while Trump's poll numbers are holding up, Abe's have plummeted to record lows.
Beijing responds with vehemence to the USA hike in tariffs over imports of steel and aluminum.
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And for the Japanese people, the possibility that they could no longer rely on the protective umbrella of US military power may be the most unsettling development in their postwar history.
Abe has said he "would quit as prime minister and lawmaker" if he or his wife were found to be involved in the land deal.
Innes-Ker said Trump "could potentially offer concessions on the steel and aluminum issue or he could signal a USA intention to rejoin the (Trans-Pacific Partnership)".
Authorities of Japan and China expressed today their worries over a possible development of a trade war, prodded by the US protectionist strategies. One of those tests came when Abe and Trump were dining at their first Mar-a-Lago summit.
Under pressure from Republican lawmakers and governors from farm states last week, Trump asked his top economic advisers to take another look at the TPP, which Japan and other countries revived after the U.S. exit.
Flirting with the idea of returning to the TPP could be part of Trump's efforts to pressure Japan into bilateral talks. There are also other foreign policy priorities for Washington.
"A peace treaty may [also] seem appealing - but if we start pulling apart the legal basis for our alliance we will invite pressure, including within South Korea, to dismantle American forward presence in Asia, which will have a direct impact on the security of Australia". Abe will be seeking reassurance from Trump that security threats to Japan won't be overlooked in the U.S.
So, to survive the current political storm, it's key for Abe to ensure Japanese interests don't get sidelined when it comes to North Korea and trade at Tuesday's summit. Both will want to spend time away from cameras, trying to resolve their differences and putting a strong statesman-like face on as they struggle through this increasingly fraught era.