Friday, December 18, 2009

Imagine: The D-Y relationship

Instead of John McCain nominating Sarah Palin to run with him last year, what if he had nominated me? Why not? I've plenty of foreign experience, and although I have never seen Russia (well, maybe a glimpse or two from an airplane) I have been stationed in South Korea and have actually set foot in North Korea. I haven't hunted moose, but I have hunted deer and elk. And squirrel. A ticket like that would have sent the skinny fellow with big ears back to Chicago.

Assume that since the financial/economic crisis is still going on, John would have suspended his presidency to work on solving it. That would leave me as president, and I would be the one whom PM Hatoyama would have to call about Futenma:

Good Morning, Mr. President. I'm calling to discuss the Futenma crisis.

Ohio Gazimass, Mr. Prime Minister. Sorry to hear that there is a crisis. I was never much of a fan of bathing with large groups of naked men, but I am sorry to hear about your onsen problem. Is a Futenba the indoor or outdoor type?

It's Futenma, not Futenba, Mr. President. By the way, may I call you D? You may call me Y. Anyway, you are thinking of a rotenburo. I guess the "ten" threw you off. I am talking about the US Marine air station in Okinawa. We would like you to move it to Guam.

A U.S. Marine base in Okinawa? My god, Y, what are they doing there? Were they left behind after the war?

In a way, they were D. We also have much more U.S. military here, including the Air Force.

The Air Force? How did they get there? We didn't even have a U.S.A.F. until 1947. Y, I sincerely apologize. We'll pull them all out immediately. You needn't worry about them being as close as Guam, either. That's a U.S. territory, but we don't need such a large force to protect it.

Oh my god, D! I didn't mean to pull them all out! What about the security treaty? You can't just back out of something that you've already agreed to.

Isn't that from, like, 1960 or something, Y? It's still in force? What year is this? Why are we talking about these things as if it were still the last century? Well, we can renegotiate it later, but right now I wanna help you with the problem of foreign troops on your soil doing what, I am sure you know, Japan should be doing for itself.

I'm sorry D, perhaps you don't understand. You see, Gen. MacArthur helped us write a new constitution after the war which prohibits us from having a military unless we call it "self-defense forces." We also have a policy against possessing nukes for self-defense, so we must get our nuclear deterrence capability from a nuclear-armed foreign country. Plus, I am sure that you know that our countries have had a more or less unofficial agreement that the US would provide security for Japan if we did not establish a military, unless we call it a self-defense force, and that in return you would provide a market for our products. This sort of arrangement has worked out well for both of us for 65 years and we'd pretty much like to continue it as is, except we'd like it to be a more equal relationship. I'll explain exactly what that means at some other time, though.

That's crazy-talk, Y! By the way, how's the missus?

She's on a little trip right now, but she's fine, thank you for asking.

Glad to hear that, Y. But back to the crazy-talk. None of that stuff makes any sense to me. The world has changed. I mean, WW2 is like totally over.

Well, D, it may be in some places, but we have a few here who are still fighting it, even in my own party. I believe the word for them in English is ナッツ*。

Oh yea, I remember the Washington Post ad from a few years ago. We have several varieties of ナッツ here too. But listen, Y. We gotta do something about foreign troops from a country halfway around the world being stationed on your soil. It's not like you're a poor country or something, and besides, we all know how some folks over there feel about foreigners.

D, I've been talking about maybe thinking about possibly at some time perhaps doing some sort of thing about kinda improving some things for foreigners here maybe, but that doesn't really apply in this case. There's no danger of your troops trying to assimilate into society, so we can use them and hopefully give them good memories before they return back to where they belong. Return individually, of course, not the whole military. As far as doing something, I can't make any decisions right now, perhaps maybe next year. Gotta figure out how to get rid of the things we don't like about having a foreign country provide our defense while making sure they they continue to provide one for us. It's much cheaper and more politically feasible for us to rent a military than to build one of comparable capabilities ourselves, you know.

But Y, you called me about the problem. Let's make a decision. How about you just do it my way, like y'all did in the past. We'll pull out all the troops and renegotiate the whole security treaty thing. I'll fax a new version for you to sign this afternoon.

Sorry D, but things don't work that way anymore. I gotta listen to what the people want, not just Mitsubishi. I also have some obstinate folk in the Diet whose asses I have to either kiss or kick to get anything done. Otherwise, they'll just oppose everything I try to do.

Good Lord, Y, don't tell me that we have Republicans stationed over there too! Anyway, I gotta go. Let's get this worked out soon. Say hello to the missus for me.

Sure thing D. I was just about to call her...could I get the number for NASA from you so they can transfer me to her? I could call her directly with my super-advanced Japanese keitai, but I'd have to go 3,576,987,201 items deep in the menu just to turn it on.

Oh, that's simple. I know the short cut. Just press "menu", then enter #678a999.072zg781-b and it will take you right to it. You really ought to memorize those shortcuts, Y. You can find them on pages 983-1014 of the quick-start manual for your phone.

Thanks a ton, D. Bye, bye.


Tweaked at 12:53

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