Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Tokyo has no option but to cleave to China

In an op-ed published by the Financial Times on May 17, 2011, Yoichi Funabashi argued that “this is the moment for Japan to break with the past and move closer to China.”

In a similar way to how Japan expanded its economic relationship with America after World War II, Japan should now partner with China in order to recover from the recent earthquake. For example, in the wake of the disaster, with the electrical supply unreliable, he believed that Japanese companies would need to relocate some of their operations to China in order to survive. In addition to helping the Japanese economy recover, moving closer to China would also help stabilize the region, he believed.

“This is the moment of truth as to whether or not Japan will remain a global power,” said Funabashi.

Much to the dismay of America, Japan more or less followed his advice. With the relationship between America and Japan in the dumpster, Japan had noooo choice but to continue its policy of seikei bunri. Instead of working with America to boost the Japanese and American economies, Japan worked with China to boost the Japanese and Chinese economies.

At some point – I don’t remember when – my government “told” me that Japan would continue to ignore America and focus on East Asia unless America changed its approach to the region. Japan wanted America to tell the truth about its history in the region. Japan wanted America to engage with the region in an open and honest manner. Of course, if the public learned the truth, our leaders would be in a lot of trouble. That is why our leaders refuse to tell the truth. As a result, we remain isolated and our economy remains in the doldrums.

If you wanted to know why the American economy continues to go nowhere, now you know. Our leaders have chosen their personal security over the needs of the people.

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