JAPAN/NORTH KOREA/TRUMP AS PRESIDENT: “Prime Minister Shinzo Abe of Japan moved to put the Nobel genie back in the bottle on Monday [2-18-19] when he told the country’s Parliament that he would not comment on President Trump’s surprise announcement that Mr. Abe had nominated him for the Nobel Peace Prize. Mr. Trump’s announcement on Friday[2-15-19], in which he boasted that Mr. Abe had given him ‘the most beautiful copy of a letter that he sent to the people who give out a thing called the Nobel Prize,’ caused a stir in the Japanese news media and in Parliament, where Mr. Abe was questioned about the alleged nomination. Both the Asahi Shimbun, a left-leaning daily newspaper, and the Yomiuri Shimbun, a right-leaning paper, cited anonymous Japanese government sources who said that Mr. Abe had nominated Mr. Trump for the prize last fall at the behest of the White House. Speaking during a budget hearing on Monday in Parliament, the Japanese leader praised Mr. Trump, saying that he had ‘decisively responded toward North Korea’s nuclear and missile issues, and held the historic summit meeting with North Korea last year.’”

Motoko Rich, “Shinzo Abe Won’t Say if He Nominated Trump for a Nobel Prize,” The New York Times online, February 18, 2019