Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Can Lord Barry Heal the Japanese Bitter Ones upon His November Visit to Japan?

Secretary Robert Gates talked with bitter ones of new DPJ (Democratic Party of Japan) government in Tokyo to discuss security deals, including issues of US bases in Okinawa, North Korean nuclear threat, and Japanese contribution to the Afghan War.

It is an irony that Japanese voters were inspired with “Hope of the Change” by a Democrat President Barack Obama, which led to the victory of Japanese Democrat to overturn conservative LDP (Liberal Democratic Party) rule for 50 years this summer. However, the Obama administration faces “bitter” remarks by his fellow Democrats across the Pacific. Under the name of “equal US-Japanese relations”, the Hatoyama administration expresses that they are not willing to provide vital assistances for the coalition fighting in Afghanistan and Pakistan. The cabinet rejects to continue fuelling for the allied force navies in the Indian Ocean. Also, the DPJ government even declares to overturn the Okinawa base deal agreed between the Bush administration and the LDP cabinet. As Prime Minister Yukio Hatoyama insists on founding a controversial East Asian Community, the American side takes the above mentioned rejects very seriously.

While Japanese liberals and leftists are critical to America’s role as the superpower and the alliance of free nations, they welcome the well known apologist speeches in Prague and Cairo. At the Atomic bomb Memorial Day on August 6, Hiroshima’s Social Democrat Mayor Tadatoshi Akiba used a word the “Obamajority” to show his heartfelt support for the denuclearization speech by Barack Obama. Currently, the Social Democratic Party joins the coalition cabinet led by DPJ. Even far left and the most anti-American politician Kazuo Shii, Secretary General of the Communist Party, praised Obama for the Prague Speech, while he opposes fuelling for the Afghan War vehemently. This is contradictory to his hail to Obama on denuclearization.

The Washington Post raises a serious concern in “U.S. pressures Japan on military package” on October 22, 2009.

For a U.S. administration burdened with challenges in Pakistan, Afghanistan, Iraq, Iran, North Korea and China, troubles with its closest ally in Asia constitute a new complication.

A senior State Department official said the United States had "grown comfortable" thinking about Japan as a constant in U.S. relations in Asia. It no longer is, he said, adding that "the hardest thing right now is not China, it's Japan."


Secretary Gates demanded Japanese Defense Minister Toshimi Kitazawa to abide by the agreement during the LDP era. Tensions between the United States and the DPJ has been intensified. Can President Obama heal relations with Japan when he visits there in November? As shown in Joseph Biden’s visit to Europe, the Obama administration may have some divisions of roles. Vice President Biden soothes concerns with appease to Russia when he visited Ukraine and Georgia in July, and Poland and Czech this month. For Japan, Secretary Gates pushes for American national interests, and President Obama may use his popularity to heal the trans-Pacific tension.

But I would like to quote a comment by Artemy Kalinovsky, Fellow at the London School of Economics, saying that, “In the end, the Obama administration might learn that, as with domestic politics, it is impossible to be friends with everybody” (“The Man For The Job In 'New Europe'?”; National Journal Blog; October 20, 2009).

Since the presidential election, "All Hail the Messiah" phenomena have been widespread in Japan, as well as in the United States and Europe. However, it is time that President Obama began to act as the leader of the superpower. The President of the United States is not a movie star, and he must push vital interests of our free nations, whether loved or hated. The President should never show appeasing attitude to Japanese Democrats as he did in his visit to Russia this July. President Obama must send a severe warning signal to the DPJ administration, in order to stop dangerous Asianism in Japan. Otherwise, Japan may repeat the same mistake of the Greater East Asia Co-Prosperity Sphere during World War Ⅱ. Absolutely no! Japan should be at the heart of the Western alliance. Japanese people must never forget this progressive spirit since the Meiji Revolution.

President Barack Obama must be bold, and never court Japanese liberals and leftists who plot to decouple US-Japanese ties. Please don’t heal everyone, and keep in mind the phrase “with us, or against us” to strengthen the unity of free nations.