First of all, some Japanese are very reluctant to express and opinion on politics. Others have a politically correct line that they’ve heard somewhere and figure it’s the least offensive thing to say. Others claim not to know what’s going on. Other really don’t. Still, there are some that have a well-rehearsed argument that they dig up every time politics comes up. Since asking what Japanese think of Donald Trump or America is like asking what Americans eat for breakfast, one way to try to get some insight is to look at the news.
These links lead to articles in Japanese.
Livedoor – Since the scandal about President Trump and porn star Stormy Daniels hit the news, we don’t see Melania in the same place as Donald.
Toyokeizei – Trump is a brazen New Yorker who says that putting America first is good for the world. He’s pro-business so this is no surprise.
President magazine online has an interesting piece by a psychologist, who says that even after 1 year in office, the outbursts continue, such as calling some countries “toilets.” (The Japanese are so polite.) But she goes on to say that even though she has not had a chance to interview him face to face, he comes across as having a lack self-awareness and a very high opinion of himself.
These links lead to articles in English.
Support for the United States in Japan has dropped to the lowest level in nine years
Opinion piece about the the deserved disaster of Donald Trump. A contributor, Kotaru, had a very good point. I’ll paraphrase. Don’t spew hate for people who don’t think the same. Ask, “Why did Trump win?” or “Did the Democrats make any mistakes in the campaign?”
The Japan times, depending on who is in charge, can lean anti-Trump bias and anti-American. Americans are portrayed as buffoons and the country is portrayed as divided, dangerous, and sinking slowly.
Amid a White House in tumult, Trump defends former aide accused of abuse
The (not so) subtle note is that the White House is in disarray.
Even Pence can’t get it right:
Pence’s bid to isolate North Korea at Olympics falls flat
To be fair, most of these articles are straight from AP. But the Japan Times also employees some journalists that seem to have an axe to grind. Check out the
You can pretty much guess if you ask a Japanese person what they think, they’ll give you something from one of the above publications, much like Americans will give you an answer straight off of Fox or CNN.
Very few will have a Rogan/Crowder/Shapiro/Klavan line of reasoning that puts actions before party or public figure. In other words:
Trump = bad
Hillary = good
Obama = good
That’s one-dimensional thinking.
Check out this YouTube video to see how people react to President Trump’s State of the Union address rather harshly, until they find out the quotes they are attacking come from President Obama.