Thursday, November 30, 2006

Disappointing Japanese Media: Why Little Attention to NATO Summit?

The Riga summit has finished, and President Bush flew to Jordan to talk with Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki of Iraq. I will write a post on the consequence of NATO summit later on.

To my regret, Japanese politicians and the media pay little attention to this summit. As I mentioned in “NATO summit at Riga, Latvia”, this is an important conference for Japan, because NATO is exploring strategic partnership with liberal democracies out of the Atlantic region. Currently, Japan is assuming global role as witnessed in its quest for the permanent membership at the UN Security Council. NATO is globalizing rapidly. Both Japan and NATO share vital interests.

However, it seems to me that Japanese leaders do not care about this summit. Are Japanese politicians ready to share more burden as a leading member of the Western democracy? Those who read this post will understand why I am disappointed with politicians and opinion leaders in Tokyo.

Despite that, Prime Minister Shinzo Abe will visit NATO next January on his trip to Europe. To make Japan really a beautiful country as he says, active involvement in NATO is crucial. Politically speaking, Japan has two core foundations: Meiji westernization and postwar regime change. I hope the whole Japanese nation consider developing relations with Atlantic allies more seriously when Abe visits Europe.