Monday, April 20, 2009

Japanese Contribution Praised by NATO

Previously, I have posted “NATO’s Partnership with Pacific Nations: Toward a Global and Multilateral US-Japanese Alliance” on this blog. As opposed to criticism by Japanese leftists and nationalists, the world trusts Japan because it is a close ally to the United States. Europeans anticipate Japan’s further commitment to manage the globe, as I argued in that post.

Currently, the War on Terror in Afghanistan and Pakistan is the most critical common agenda between NATO and Japan. NATO Channel TV has broadcasted news on Japanese contribution to Afghan reconstruction on March 31. No other Asia-Pacific nation draws such an enthusiastic attention by Europeans.

Quite often, people talk of Japanese national security merely from Asia-Pacific perspectives. This is wrong. Historically, Japan has deep ties with Europe. During the Meiji modernization, Japan learned a lot from European teachers. After World War Ⅰ, Japan assumed leadership in the world together with Europe. Japan’s historical ties with the Middle East are no less important. It is well known that the Meiji modernization inspired Kemal Ataturk of Turkey and Reza Shah of Iran.

A staunch US-Japanese alliance is a vital asset for Japan to strengthen partnership with its old friends of Europe and the Middle East.

In the news, the reporter narrates Japanese assistance to Afghanistan in culture, infrastructure, and public health. Japanese archaeologists conduct researches to restore the Buddha of Bamian with UNESCO. Expertise in Buddhism is Japan’s strength. Japanese Ambassador to Afghanistan Hideo Sato said that Afghanistan was a forefront of the War on Terror, and Japan must work together with allies and local residents to bring peace and stability. Japan built a tuberculosis clinic. Also, a new airline terminal was build at Kabul thanks to Japanese aid. Ambassador Sato said the new terminal would be the gateway to the world and the next generation.

Regardless of party politics in the United States, a staunch US-Japanese alliance enables Japan to expand partnership with free friends and allies. Japan’s strength such as expertise in Buddhism to restore ancient Buddha will be used more effectively.

Remember that Germany has won recognition as a good global citizen through NATO and the EU. On the other hand, Japan has been taking unilateral pacifist policy, which has somewhat isolated this country from the world. Therefore, I insist that Japan join a multilateral security structure through the US-Japanese alliance. European allies welcome Japan!