The tsunami that hit Japan on March 11, 2011, was the largest natural disaster in recorded history, causing an estimated $3 trillion in damages and destroying hundreds of thousands of lives.
Now, nearly seven years later, it’s become the biggest political story of the Trump administration.
While the US president has repeatedly promised to fix the disaster and bring back jobs, the tsunami has become an even bigger political headache for the US as well as Japan, the world’s second-largest economy and largest trade partner.
“We were able to salvage what was left of our economy,” said Hiroshi Nakanishi, a former Japanese Prime Minister who is now an expert on Japan’s nuclear crisis.
“But the tsunami was a huge loss to Japan.”
The tsunami and other natural disasters in Japan cost the Japanese economy billions of dollars and displaced millions of people.
But in the aftermath of the disaster, the US administration and its allies have been focused on trying to fix its economic and political problems instead of on the devastating disaster.
President Trump has said that he wants to “rebuild our infrastructure,” while the administration has made a concerted effort to build bridges to Asia.
“The tsunami that struck Japan on 11 March 2011, and the resulting devastation, was a great tragedy for the Japanese people,” Trump said at the time.
“They were victims of an act of terrorism.
But they also lost the hope of their lives.
We will get them back.
We have been there.
We’ve been through it.”
But the Japanese tsunami is the latest example of how Trump has been a tough negotiator, and how the Trump presidency has left Japan with a lot of unanswered questions.
Trump has spent much of his presidency trying to mend fences with Japan, and has been especially critical of Japan’s authoritarian leader, Shinzo Abe.
He has called for a reopening of the US embassy in Japan and has pledged to do “everything possible” to secure Japanese trade and investment.
The US has been negotiating with Japan for years, but the two sides have rarely agreed on a long-term deal.
Abe, who took power in December 2016, has promised to build a “big, beautiful, beautiful wall” between Japan and the US.
Trump, meanwhile, has repeatedly attacked Abe over the past year, particularly on Twitter, saying he has not done enough to stop him from taking office and that he would not be “nice” to him.
He called the Japanese leader “the worst president in the history of our country.”
Trump has also been a vocal critic of China’s trade practices and its military actions in the South China Sea.
Trump’s rhetoric has caused a rift between Japan’s two largest allies in Asia, South Korea and the United States.
In August, Japan’s president, Shinzo Nakamura, met with Trump in the Oval Office and called the meeting “very productive.”
Nakamura said that the two leaders discussed the importance of maintaining ties with the US, but added that they also agreed to have closer relations with the United Kingdom and other countries.
“Japan has always stood on the side of the people and we will continue to do that,” Nakamura told reporters after the meeting.
“I believe that the US will do a great job.”
Trump’s relationship with Abe is far from perfect.
The two leaders have clashed over trade, which has been one of Trump’s signature issues.
In November, Abe signed a trade deal with the European Union that was heavily criticized by Trump and other critics.
“If we want to be the world leader, we need to have trade with all of the other countries in the world,” Abe said in November, according to Reuters.
“That’s why we need a strong, strong, good relationship with Japan.”
On Friday, Trump and Nakamura also met for a second time, but this time, the two agreed to maintain a bilateral trade deal, according a Japanese official.
In an interview with The Associated Press in Tokyo on Sunday, Nakamura did not say whether he would sign the deal.
But he said that “a very important thing” had been agreed.
“This is a very important deal that will be a very strong, positive relationship with the UK, France and Germany, and I hope it will be very positive for Japan as well,” he said.
“It’s not just trade; it’s a very big, big deal.”