Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Will Tokyo Cave on Okinawa ?

The Japanese government indicated Friday that it would broadly accept a plan to relocate a U.S. Marine Corps base on Okinawa, a move that could ease months of discord between the two allies, U.S. and Japanese officials said.
The meeting Friday followed a brief and blunt tete-a-tete between President Obama and Hatoyama on April 12 during the prime minister's visit to Washington for the Nuclear Security Summit. During the 10-minute encounter, Obama told Hatoyama that the two countries were "running out of time" and asked him whether he could be trusted. Japanese officials were so taken aback by the toughness of Obama's tone that they did not draw up a written record of the words exchanged between the two leaders, sources said. 1

Submission to Washington in the face of widespread domestic opposition, will leave Japan with a humiliated and discredited political class. Japan - like South Korea - is a country with little leverage against the U.S. now that the Cold War has ended. The U.S no longer has to unconditionally open its markets, and is quite capable of damaging national champions like Toyota to enforce diplomatic leverage.

1'Japan moves to settle dispute with U.S. over Okinawa base relocation" ; Washington Post; Pomfret

No comments: