The frontrunner for the Republican nomination is making Japan’s political elite worry.
According to the CNBC, Japanese politicians are relaxed about Donald Trump’s views on security, but an increase in attacks on the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) is raising eyebrows and worries.
"To start with they just thought 'he's funny'," said Masatoshi Honda, a professor of politics at Kinjo University. "But recently they're starting to worry — what happens if Trump wins?"
Even with their apprehensions, Tokyo has been slow to take Trump seriously.
"I will take his remarks seriously when he is elected president," said Kuni Miyake, head of the Foreign Policy Institute in Tokyo.
"Media overreaction creates people like Trump, who represent the dark side of the US," he added. "I believe in the western democracies — in the end they'll come up with a healthy outcome."
On Monday, Trump penned an op-ed in USA Today, calling for the “job-killing” TPP to be stopped. He also called out fellow Republican presidential candidate and Ohio Gov. John Kasich on Good Morning America, stating that Kasich “now supports the TPP, which is going to totally destroy Ohio.”
Editor’s note: Trump’s efforts weren’t enough to sway Ohio voters. Kasich won his state with 46% of the votes.
As The Guardian reports here, Canadian politicians are also worrying about what a Trump presidency could mean for trade relations. Last week President Barack Obama hosted Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, praising the country’s neighbors to the north as “steadfast allies and the closest of friends.”
“One thing business really needs is predictability and certainty going forward: what are the rules of the game?” said Janice MacKinnon, the former minister of finance for the province of Saskatchewan. “Certainly under Trump there’s much more danger that there’s some dramatic change in the rules of the game than under (Hillary) Clinton, who has been around and has experience and understands that changing the rules has dramatic consequences.”
That being said, the TPP isn’t an absolute under a Clinton presidency either. Though the deal was championed by Obama, a fellow Democrat, Clinton announced during her Feb. 4 debate against Sen. Bernie Sanders in New Hampshire that she now opposes the deal.