Washington President Donald Trump once again lamented what he sees as an unequal military Alliance on Wednesday, arguing that if the US is attacked, Japan “shouldn’t help us at all” and “can watch it on Sony TV.”
Trump’s criticism of Japan was voiced during an interview with Fox Business Network, when he was asked about the possibility of bilateral trade deals in anticipation of his trip to the G20, where he will meet with several colleagues, including Japanese President Shinzo Abe.
“Let me start with a General statement – almost all countries in this world enjoy a huge advantage,” Trump said on the phone from the US, echoing the General refrain of his 2016 campaign.
The President then sharply criticized NATO before singling out Japan for the terms of its military alliance with the United States.
“If Japan is attacked, we will fight the Third world war … his life and his treasures,” he said, adding: “If we are attacked, Japan should not help us at all,” Trump said.
Earlier this week, Bloomberg reported that Trump was privately contemplating withdrawing from a long-standing defense Treaty between the US and Japan because he considers it unilateral.
And it looks like Trump referred to the same agreement again in his interview with Fox Business on Wednesday.
The US has been close military and diplomatic ally of Tokyo for over 70 years. The two countries first signed the San Francisco Treaty in 1951, officially ending world war II.
The agreement was revised in 1960 as the ” Treaty of mutual cooperation and security between the United States and Japan “, which allows the United States to maintain military bases in Japan on the understanding that it will protect Japan in the event of an attack.
However, Trump has repeatedly called on military allies in East Asia to pay for their own defense, teasing the end of our military presence in the region and urging Japan to buy more us weapons to better protect itself from threats from North Korea.
On the eve of the G20 summit to be held in Japan, trump once again expresses his disappointment over military agreements with key allies.
Trump has long criticized NATO countries for not spending enough money on defense and not reaching the 2% GDP target recommended by the Alliance, which is currently being implemented by only seven members.
While previous presidents have made similar criticisms of NATO members ‘ defense spending, Trump has made it a central theme of his presidential campaign and his administration’s foreign policy, once calling the Alliance “obsolete” and repeatedly slapping allies on the issue of spending and linking it to trade disputes with the European Union.