Japanese Prime Minister Visits US President-Elect Donald Trump

January 18, 2017

Unlocking Word Meanings

Read the following words/expressions found in today’s article. 

1. off to a good start / ɔf tʊ ə gʊd stɑrt / (idiom) – to have a successful or pleasant beginning
Example: They had everything they needed for the project, so they were off to a good start.

2. make time (for) / meɪk taɪm / (phrasal v.) – to set aside some time for someone or something
Example: I have to make time for basketball practice.

3. inauguration / ɪnˌɔ gyəˈreɪ ʃən / (n.) – a ceremony that marks the beginning of a public official’s term
Example: We will watch the president’s inauguration on television.

4. go into detail / goʊˈɪn tʊ dɪˈteɪl / (idiom) – to present specific details about something
Example: He mentioned only the result of the game and refused to go into detail about it.

5. stability / stəˈbɪl ɪ ti / (n.) – being firm or hardly affected by change
Example: The stability of the country improved with the rise of its economy.


Read the text below.
Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe paid a visit to US President-elect Donald Trump.

The meeting, which lasted for nearly 90 minutes, happened a few days after the latter’s victory in the 2016 presidential race. The prime minister was the first world leader to visit Trump since the elections. After the affair, a Japanese government spokesperson said that the two leaders were off to a good start.

Abe thanked Trump for making time for their meeting. The prime minister is planning to arrange another appointment after the US president-elect’s inauguration this month.

Both leaders refused to go into detail about what they discussed. However, the prime minister assured that their talk was done in good nature. He added that he is confident that he can build a relationship of trust with Trump.

According to Jeffrey Kingston, director of Asian Studies at Japan’s Temple University, Abe’s statements about Trump would be reassuring to the Japanese public since it is an assurance that the two countries will maintain strong ties. He added that Abe wanted to show the world that the alliance between the United States and Japan still stands.

According to the US Department of State, the country’s alliance with Japan is essential to Asia’s stability and prosperity. The United States and Japan work together on several international economic conventions, such as the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP).

The TPP, which is a trade agreement between 12 countries, is expected to have a major impact on Japan’s economy. However, President-elect Trump announced his intentions to leave the TPP during his campaigns. For this reason, many speculate that one of Abe’s reasons for visiting Trump was to convince the president-elect to keep the United States in the TPP.

Viewpoint Discussion

Enjoy a discussion with your tutor.  

Discussion A

·         In your opinion, why was it important for Shinzo Abe to visit the United States’ new president?
·         What would you like your country’s leader to discuss with the new US president?

Discussion B

·         What are the usual reasons why a country’s leader visits another world leader?
·         What is the importance of having constant contact between world leaders?

January 18, 2017