Future direction of U.S.-Japan relationship in balance as election results stall

Future direction of U.S.-Japan relationship in balance as election results stall

Japan watched with trepidation on Wednesday as the United States edged toward an electoral crisis, with the future direction of bilateral ties hinging on an unexpectedly close race for the White House.

The Japanese government refrained from actively commenting on the election, with Chief Cabinet Secretary Katsunobu Kato hesitant to elaborate on the race during a news conference. Asked when Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga might send a congratulatory message to the contest’s winner, Kato refused to answer.

“Countries around the world are highly interested in the election,” he said Wednesday. “The Japanese government will continue to monitor the outcome and its potential implications with keen interest.”

Despite the results in many key battlegrounds not having being determined by early Wednesday in the U.S., Trump declared victory, alleging — without evidence — that he had effectively won in several of them during a televised news conference from the White House.

“Frankly we did win this election,” he said. “We’ll be going to the U.S. Supreme Court. We want all voting to stop. This is a very sad moment.”

Biden, meanwhile, called for patience, noting “unprecedented” early vote and mail-in vote numbers. But he also said he believes he is “on track to win this election” and “feeling really good” about some of the Midwest battleground states.