Saturday, September 12, 2009

News Flash from Telegraph UK: US-Japan split threatened (???)

Incoming Tokyo Governments Threatens Split with US,
By Julian Ryall in Tokyo

A split is emerging between the United States and Japan over the new Tokyo government's anti-globalisation rhetoric and its threats to end a refueling agreement for US ships in support of the war in Afghanistan.

Mr. Ryall must know something that has been missed over the last 3 weeks since this story first came out. Unfortunately, that something is not mentioned in the story as the only thing new reported was that Hatoyama "repeated his intention to defy the US" on refueling and the contents fail to support the idiotically sensationalist headline.

Perhaps the threatened split is derived from what Makato Watanabe of Hokkaido Bunkyo University said in the article: "The US has been critical of new trends in Japan, but we are not a colony of Washington and we should be able to say what we want....[after reaffirming that the US-Japan relationship will remain most important, but that Japan will no longer be a yes man] ...this suggests to me that healthy change is taking place."

Oh my god! No longer a "yes-man". If this sort of thinking is a threat to the US-Japan relationship, then there was not much of one to begin with.

12 Sept: Joseph Nye's comments on the refueling and more are at the Japan Times.


  1. Japan may not be a colony of Washington but it is a colony of the USA, by golly. And, don't you forget it!
    Is Hatoyama really going in this direction? It sounds great to me. But Japan with a dissonant voice? Showing courage and having guts to stand up and say, we don't support your war?
    Can the Banks support this position? The question will become, how much time will it take for the Banks and other Corps. to bring down Hatoyama Gov't?
    A little bit of trade/protectionism will change all that. They'll then say, don't be silly, get with the neo-liberal project or Japan is go'in down!

  2. Nah, I don't expect it to get that anywhere near that far as long as both the US and Japan are in a lip-lock that neither really wants to loosen.

    I am much better at make post-dictions than predictions though, so we'll see.

  3. I don't think culturally speaking Japan is a colony of the US. However, it's governments have long been, so to speak, in a neo-colonial relationship with the American empire. Starting from when McArthur lorded it over them here. What would you expect of a militarist who learned how things should be because he was an exptension of US power over the Philippines and SE Asia? Fortunately for Japan, Japan escaped that sort of economic fate.

  4. I think that those past governments have gone along with it because doing so was viewed as an advantage for Japan, and I suppose it was in many ways up until the end of the 80s. Times have changed and I wonder if either country is going to do much until one or the other--or both--have no alternative.