The Japanese government would rather not see Trump impose tariffs on foreign cars and car parts as that would devastate one of Japan's largest industries and they have a plan to avoid it.
Their plan, according to Reuters, does not involve presenting sound economic arguments; it involves appealing to Trump's ego and vanity.
TOKYO (Reuters) - Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe will treat U.S. President Donald Trump to an imperial banquet, front row seats at a sumo tournament and a trip to the country’s biggest warship on a state visit as Tokyo seeks to avoid a bust-up over trade.
New Japanese Emperor Naruhito and Harvard-educated Empress Masako will host a lavish dinner for Trump during his stay through May 28, part of a display meant to showcase the two countries’ alliance. [...]
“It’s part of Prime Minister Abe’s full embrace of Mr. Trump,” Toshihiro Nakayama, a Japan Fellow at the Wilson Center in Washington, said of Trump’s visit.
“What Prime Minister Abe has done was quite effective and you can even say strategic, because for Mr. Trump, personal chemistry is quite important.”
So, the Japanese government clearly knows who and what they're dealing with, but that does not necessarily mean it's going to work.
Trump may be one of the most ungrateful creatures on the planet and forcing Emperor Naruhito to endure several hours of Trump may not pay off in the end. Trump's whims may ultimately call on him to impose tariffs on foreign cars even if he really enjoys his front row seat at the sumo tournament.
With that said, I do believe this is Japan's best chance to avoid tariffs because we know Trump does not comprehend or appreciate the economics of trade.
I don't think we can expect to see officials from the European Union employ similar tactics because Trump has treated them like shit for years and public opinion in Europe is not on his side.