The New York Times published an op-ed written by Jim Foster, a former State Department official, on May 14, 2009. According to him, the upcoming elections in Japan would probably lead to further political deadlock. Meanwhile, the Chinese economy continued to expand, as did its military.
“Couple this with the unending discussions between the United States and Japan over the future of U.S. bases on Okinawa and there’s a recipe for trouble,” said Foster.
Apparently, Foster thought the discussions on Okinawa were a waste of time. Perhaps Foster believed that Japan raised the issue to avoid tackling other issues that America wanted to address. If so, Japan certainly succeeded. And Foster was right – there certainly was trouble. Unfortunately, America decided to retaliate against Japan’s dithering. In response, Japan had noooo choice but to move even closer to China and East Asia.