The Japanese Embassy hired all-Republican CGCN Group to provide strategic counsel, arrange introductions to members of Congress/administration and to conduct intelligence gathering in the nation's capital.

President Trump's tariffs and overtures to North Korea have strained US-Japan relations.

The Japanese finance minister Taro Aso on June 1 blasted the US tariffs on steel and aluminum as "deeply deplorable."

Prime minister Shinzo Abe worries that Trump may cut a face-saving deal with North Korean dictator Kim Jong-un that could ban missiles that could hit the US but leave in place those that threaten Japan.

The South China Morning Post reported June 4 that once-staunch US ally Japan feels "sidelined" by Trump's focus on dealing with North Korea, its long-time foe.

CGCN, according to Politico, has built a "reputation for knowing how to talk to party hardliners who used to be called insurgents, but now, in Trump's Washington, are ascendant."

Its heavyweight line-up includes founder Steve Clark (former VP-government affairs at Ameritech regional phone company), Sam Gedulig (ex-aide to John Boehner before he rose to House Speaker), Juliane Sullivan (policy director for former House Majority Leader Tom DeLay) and Ken Spain (one-time corporate and external affairs chief at Koch Industries).

CGCN's one-year Japan pact is worth $164K.