Tuesday, December 15, 2009

U.S.-Japan Relations under the DPJ Government

Yoichi Funabashi, the Editor-in-chief of the Asahi Shimbun, spoke at CSIS on December 15, 2009. During his speech, Funabashi said he hoped Japan would stick to the existing relocation plan for Marine Corps Air Station Futenma. America made it clear that it wanted to move on to other issues.

“We should get away from discussing Futenma,” said David Hitchcock. “For goodness sake, Futenma is mostly helicopters. What are they going to do against North Korea?”

Mike Green hoped that the DPJ would be able to remove the SDP and Kokumin Shinto from its ruling coalition after the upcoming Upper House election. Apparently, he believed those two parties were the source of the problems that America was having with Japan.

“If we can weather this tough period I think the prospects are pretty positive,” said Green.

That turned out to be wishful thinking. It turns out that Japan wanted something big from America.

“Historically, the United States always has been the inspiration for Japanese renewal and the source of optimism for Japan,” said Funabashi.

Were the Japanese public to learn the truth about the relationship between Japan, China, and America, that would certainly lead to Japanese renewal and optimism. The Japanese public would be able to take pride in all its accomplishments in East Asia. Were the Japanese public to learn the truth, a new era of democracy could be born in Japan, as the public would finally have the tools needed to make decisions, namely, the truth. Unfortunately, Japan does not want to tell the public the truth because neither China nor America want the public to learn the truth. If Japan were to tell the public the truth, China and America would be very angry at Japan. That’s not what Japan wants, so they’re trying to get someone else to do it. So I have to do it. Lucky me.

In the meantime, Japan has apparently decided to waste as much time as possible – on Futenma, on political theater, and on screwing up the reconstruction efforts in the wake of the recent earthquake.

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