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Editorial: Trump's 'America first' stance could risk allies' trust in U.S.

What was thought to be impossible has become reality. Real estate mogul Donald Trump, who was initially deemed an unlikely candidate, has become a presumptive U.S. presidential nominee for the Republican Party. With a landslide win in the May 3 Indiana primary, Trump knocked Texas Senator Ted Cruz and Ohio Gov. John Kasich out of the race.

It was an astonishing win. Mainstream Republicans had predicted that Trump -- who has repeatedly made controversial remarks and has no experience in politics -- would eventually lose momentum. As Trump kept winning in caucuses and primaries, the GOP anchored its hope in the possibility that he would not win enough delegates to clinch the party nomination, and had hoped to field a different candidate at the Republican National Convention in July.

When Republican National Committee chairman Reince Priebus tweeted that Trump "will be presumptive GOP nominee" after the Indiana primary, however, it created the impression that the party was ending the campaign to denounce the controversial candidate.

The GOP presidential nomination race has highlighted the party leadership's miscalculation and the unsteady campaign strategies of mainstream Republicans, including Florida Senator Marco Rubio, who was at one point considered as the most likely candidate, only to drop out of the race.

This is not the end of the GOP showdown, however. The possibility of having to nominate Trump, who was once considered an outsider, places the Republican Party in a major dilemma. Is it possible for the GOP to accept his policies and unite those under him as the party heads toward a presidential election?

At the GOP convention, the formulation of the Republican Party platform will be another major focal point. It will likely be impossible to include Trump's proposals to allow Japan and South Korea to arm themselves with nuclear weapons or to build a wall between the United States and Mexico. High profile Republicans including former President George H.W. Bush and his son George W. will not be endorsing Trump for the presidency.

It is only natural for the Republican Party to demand candidates correct their extreme ideas. Trump told CNN in an interview that he would demand that Japan and other U.S. allies that host U.S. military bases cover all stationing expenses. He may think that an ally should pay the U.S. if it wants to be protected, but placing its military bases in Japan and other countries is one of the United States' strategies. Such a claim is nothing but one-sided and childish.

It is understandable that people who are unhappy with established politics and seek changes see Trump as their hope. With his "America first" stance for bringing prosperity, power and greatness back to the United States, it is conceivable that many Americans would want to support him.

However, being vocal only about the burden on the U.S. while downplaying support by its allies is not fair and it feeds his supporters' illusion. If the U.S. takes up an attitude of measuring an ally by how much it pays, not only the status and trust the country has built over the years, but also the value of the country itself will be lost.

Unrefined, low-level Republican debates made Trump's controversial remarks less noticeable. While the presidential election in November will likely be a race between Trump and Hillary Clinton, we would like to see debates worth listening to when it comes to an election that will determine the course of the world. Trump will then be tested on his qualifications for the job.

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