Photo/IllutrationPrime Minister Shinzo Abe and U.S. President Donald Trump at a meeting in New York on Sept. 21 (Asahi Shimbun file photo)

U.S. President Donald Trump will arrive in Japan on Nov. 5, the first leg of his five-nation Asia tour that will also bring him to South Korea, China, Vietnam and the Philippines.

The focus of Trump’s summit with Prime Minister Shinzo Abe on Nov. 6 is how the two countries should respond to rising tensions over North Korea’s nuclear arms and missile programs.

Instead of simply rhapsodizing about the close and strong security alliance between the two countries, Abe should tell Trump--in plain and clear language--what the president needs to hear.

Most importantly, Abe should urge Trump to avoid taking any military action against North Korea.

In a Nov. 1 news conference, Abe reiterated that he had been “consistently supporting” Trump’s “all options are on the tale” approach to dealing with Pyongyang.

Even if it is necessary to put pressure on North Korea, which continues developing nuclear arms and missiles, the fact remains that a U.S. attack would prompt a fierce counterattack that could inflict enormous damage on Japan.

Abe should do nothing to encourage Trump to use the military options he has been hinting at.

The diplomatic highlight of Trump’s Asia tour is his scheduled meeting with Chinese President Xi Jinping after his visits to Japan and South Korea.

The summit will provide an opportunity for the two leading powers to discuss their basic positions on the situation surrounding North Korea.

It would be meaningful for Japan and the United States to share their views and perceptions on the issue before the Trump-Xi talks.

In the final analysis, seeking a diplomatic solution is the only way to go with North Korea.

Pressure is nothing but a means to open the door to dialogue with North Korea.

It is vital for the two allies to act on this principle and seek to build a solid foundation for effective cooperation among Japan, the United States and South Korea. Russia and China should also be involved in international efforts to resolve the North Korea situation.

What is worrisome is the two leaders’ planned golf outing on Nov. 5. We can see the importance of their close personal ties. But immediately after they played golf during Abe’s visit to the United States in February, North Korea fired a missile.

Some Japanese government officials fear that Pyongyang may make such a move again.

If Abe must play golf with Trump for their personal ties despite the risk, he should use this relationship to make visible diplomatic gains for Japan.

After the crash-landing of a U.S. military helicopter in the northern part of Okinawa Prefecture in October, U.S. forces unilaterally resumed flights of the same type of helicopter while Japanese investigators were blocked from inspecting the accident scene. This has provoked indignation and outrage among local residents.

The Okinawa prefectural government is demanding that Tokyo and Washington review the Status of Forces Agreement (SOFA) between the two countries.

Abe should try to enlighten Trump on such realities concerning the bilateral security alliance.

It is equally crucial for Abe to urge Trump to ensure that the United States will be engaged in playing constructive roles in the international community and Asia without further tilting toward unilateralism and a self-centered America-first policy.

Trump has made remarks suggesting he would terminate the Iran nuclear deal and withdrawn the United States from the Paris climate agreement and the Trans-Pacific Partnership multilateral trade pact. His remarks and actions have created anxiety and confusion around the world.

If he directly and candidly tells Trump about the serious international repercussions of his words and actions, Abe would be able to respond to the expectations of the international community while helping promote the best interests of the United States.

As a Japanese leader who claims to have built a relationship of trust with Trump, Abe has the responsibility to do so.

--The Asahi Shimbun, Nov. 4