Japan's Prime Minister Shinzo Abe (R) greets US President Donald Trump as he arrives for the G20 Summit in Osaka on June 28, 2019.
BRENDAN SMIALOWSKI/AFP/Getty Images
  • Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe on Friday presented President Donald Trump with a colourful chart to explain Japanese investment in the US.
  • President Trump is well known for being averse to reading complex briefing documents and memos.
  • After his meeting with Abe, Trump praised the investments spelt out in the chart.
  • Using simple charts is a tactic that foreign leaders have used before. European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker last year used simple, colourful cue cards to explain global trade policy to the president.
  • For more stories, go to Business Insider SA.

Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe presented Donald Trump with a straightforward, colourful chart to explain Japanese investments in the US to the president during a meeting on Friday.

The chart was presented to Trump at a morning meeting with his host, Prime Minister Abe, held as the president attends the G20 in Japan, a White House official told Axios.

A picture of the chart was tweeted out by New York Times reporter Peter Baker, who commented: "like others around the world, the Japanese have figured out how to play to a visiting Trump."

The chart is headlined "Japan has five additional investments in the US in just one month," in big red letters, with keywords underlined.

Boxes spell out how much was invested and point to the areas of the US on a map where the investment has taken place.

The president referenced 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. "They're building magnificent plants."

Trump's refusal to read long briefing documents before meetings is well known. It has also been reported that the president has 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, with European Commission president Jean Claude Juncker reportedly explaining trade policy using colourful cue cards a meeting last July.

Officials told Reuters in 2017 that they made sure 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, and also included lots of pictures and charts.

"He likes to visualize things," a senior administration official told the agency at the time.

"The guy's a builder. He has spent his whole life looking at architectural renderings and floor plans."

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