Japan used a colourful chart with pictures and a map to explain its US investments to Trump

Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and US President Donald Trump at the G20 summit in Osaka, Japan, on Friday. BRENDAN SMIALOWSKI/AFP/Getty Images
  • Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe on Friday presented US President Donald Trump with a colourful chart to explain Japanese investment in the US.
  • Trump is known to be averse to reading complex briefing documents and memos.
  • After his meeting with Abe, Trump praised the investments spelled out in the chart.
  • Using simple charts is a tactic that foreign leaders have used before with Trump. European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker last year used colourful cue cards to explain global trade policy to the president.
  • Visit Business Insider’s homepage for more stories.

Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe on Friday presented US President Donald Trump with a straightforward, colourful chart to explain Japanese investment in the US, a White House official told Axios.

Trump met with Abe on Friday morning at the G20 summit in Osaka, Japan.

The New York Times reporter Peter Baker tweeted a picture of the chart and commented, “Like others around the world, the Japanese have figured out how to play to a visiting Trump.”

The chart’s headline, “Japan has five additional investments in just one month,” is in big red letters with key words underlined. Boxes spell out how much was invested and point to the location on a US map.

The president referred to the investments in remarks to reporters after the meeting with Abe.

“I appreciate the fact that you’re sending many automobile companies into Michigan and Ohio and Pennsylvania and North Carolina – a lot of our states,” Trump said, adding, “They’re building magnificent plants.”

Trump has often refused to read long briefing documents before meetings. The president has also been described as having a short attention span.

Foreign and US officials have been forced to come up with new ways to get their point across to the president. The European Commission president, Jean-Claude Juncker, reportedly explained trade policy using colourful cue cards at a meeting last July.

A source told Reuters in 2017 that National Security Council officials made sure that Trump’s name was included as frequently as possible in intelligence briefings because he was more likely to pay attention if he saw himself mentioned. Other officials said he preferred memos with lots of pictures and charts.

“He likes to visualise things,” a senior administration official told the news agency.

“The guy’s a builder. He has spent his whole life looking at architectural renderings and floor plans.”