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Trump Goes to Japan, and Japan to Him
A common minke whale is unloaded at Kushiro port during a research whaling on September 5, 2015 in Kushiro, Hokkaido, Japan. (The Asahi Shimbun/Getty Images)
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Trump Goes to Japan, and Japan to Him

Walter Russell Mead

Even before he stunned the world by arranging an impromptu summit with Kim Jong Un, President Trump worked his media magic at the Group of 20 summit in Osaka, Japan, last week. Whether shaping the world economy through discussions with Chinese President Xi Jinping or elevating his daughter Ivanka to senior-diplomat status by bringing her into critical meetings, Mr. Trump and his trademark dazzle-and-spin approach to foreign affairs fascinated, worried and flummoxed diplomats and pundits.

Many hope that such personalized, improvisational and unilateral diplomacy will fade from world politics when Mr. Trump returns to private life. But two developments in Japan suggest the Trumpification of world politics may be here to stay.

First, a small fleet of whalers set out on the first commercial hunt in Japan in 31 years, as Japan’s departure from the International Whaling Commission became effective. The IWC may not be one of the world’s most important multilateral institutions, but its troubles typify the crisis increasingly gripping its peers.

Read the full article in the Wall Street Journal here

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