Thursday, September 25, 2008

NYT has noticed something in Japan

Japan’s new prime minister, Taro Aso, is well known — and not fondly remembered — by Japan’s neighbors as a pugnacious nationalist. As foreign minister from 2005 to 2007, Mr. Aso soured relations with China and South Korea and raised tensions throughout the region, praising the achievements of prewar Japanese colonialism, justifying wartime atrocities and portraying China as a dangerous military threat.

(And the US will help him and his fellow rightwingers by focusing on the military relationship with Japan and asking it to rearm.)

What the United States most needs from Japan is a responsible strategic partner, not a government whose imperial reveries and symbolic muscle-flexing will provoke angry reactions across Asia.

The rightwing is very interested in what the US needs, especially over the long term.

3 Oct: Just noticed a different, more nuanced view of PM Aso at Shisaku---well worth reading.

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