Donald Trump may or may not be the next American president.
But even the possibility has unleashed a torrent of books here dedicated to aTrump presidency, with titles like “Collapsing America: The World Will Go Mad If There’s A President Trump” and “Trump Fever: America’s ‘Anti-intellectualism.’”
There’s even a gossipy book called “Special Live US Presidential Election” that features a cartoon of Trump, as a joker, flipping the bird on the front.
This is what people in Tokyo's Shiba park think of Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump(Yuki Oda, Jason Aldag, Osman Malik/The Washington Post)
Japan, the United States’ biggest ally in Asia, hasn’t been much of an election issue in recent decades. So, viewed from Tokyo, this season has been noteworthy in that Japan often gets a mention, almost always from the Republican presidential candidate. Trump has repeatedly said that the countries’ security alliance is “not a fair deal” because the United States is obligated to come to Japan’s defense, but not vice versa.
In the first debate with Hillary Clinton, Trump said that the United States was losing “billions and billions of dollars” to Japan.
“They should be paying us, because we are providing tremendous service, and we're losing a fortune,” he has said.
This is not true. Japan pays about $2 billion a year to host American military bases and 54,000 American military personnel on its territory, or $4.5 billion if you take into account all base-related expenses, including rents and salaries for local staff. For its part, the United States has budgeted $5.5 billion for its military presence in Japan in the current year.
Analysts have pointed out that unless the United States disbanded the military units stationed in Asia, bringing them home to American soil wouldn’t save much money.
But the attention on Japan this election season has given rise to a little Trump publishing industry here. These are some of the two dozen-odd books that have been published this year.