Friday, September 18, 2009

Assistant Secretary Campbell's Meeting With DPJ Deputy Prime Minister Naoto Kan

Kurt Campbell met with Naoto Kan on September 18, 2009. During the meeting, Kan said that, unlike in previous administrations when the bureaucrats held sway, in the new DPJ administration, the politicians would govern the country. Furthermore, under the new administration, the government would have to explain the rationale behind the policies it adopted. Kan predicted that the administration would have a hard time explaining security issues to the public, as the public had little interest in those issues. Kan cited the plan to relocate Marine Corps Air Station Futenma as an example of one of these issues.

In an effort to explain why the government needed to explain security issues to the public, Kan cited the example of President Kennedy during the Cuban Missile Crisis. According to Kan, because President Kennedy was able to explain the situation to the public, the public supported his policies and the President was able to carry them out.

During the meeting, Kan said that Katsuya Okada would take the lead on security issues related to the alliance.

In order to have an equal relationship, Campbell pointed out that America should not be the only one to take the initiative on security matters. Japan should also take the initiative once and a while.

I wonder if Campbell would like to take back that statement.

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