Security has been beefed up in Tokyo for the arrival of US President Donald Trump, the biggest deployment ever for a visiting US president, and around Asia people are expressing uncertainty about what to expect from their visitor as his 12-day-tour begins.
While few question the importance of Japan’s number one ally, many express doubts about how the crisis with North Korea is evolving.
“I wonder about his response to North Korea and other things. There are things that scare me. He is becoming friendly with Prime Minister Abe and I don`t know if that is right or not,” said one man.
Trump will also visit China, but there is only one political superstar here.
“I think all of the policies executed by President Xi should set a good example for Donald Trump which Donald Trump will need to learn to make United States great again,” said one man seemingly unconcerned by Trump.
While some people in another destination, the Philippines, see in Trump an echo of their own leader.
“I like him because he supports Rodrigo Duterte and I think our president, with the support of Trump, they`re actually doing a pretty good job,” said one woman.
Key stop though will be South Korea, the front line, and in the firing line.
“If we were to imagine a war, I believe South Korea is not on the disadvantaged side. However, since the consequences of war are detrimental to all of us, I hope President Trump resolves the Korean Peninsula issues through peace talks,” said one man. South Korea’s capital lies within artillery range of the frontier with North Korea.
Some here see Trump as dragging them against their will into an apocalyptic war, comparing him to a dictator, and not North Korea’s leader, who Trump routinely brands a totalitarian.