January 7, 2010

ISN'T SOFT POWER SUPPOSED TO BE HIS SPECIALTY?:

An Alliance Larger Than One Issue (JOSEPH S. NYE Jr., 1/07/10, NY Times)

Not surprisingly, some in Washington want to play hardball with the new Japanese government. But that would be unwise, for Mr. Hatoyama is caught in a vise, with the Americans squeezing from one side and a small left-wing party (upon which his majority in the upper house of the legislature depends) threatening to quit the coalition if he makes any significant concessions to the Americans. Further complicating matters, the future of Futenma is deeply contentious for Okinawans.

Even if Mr. Hatoyama eventually gives in on the base plan, we need a more patient and strategic approach to Japan. We are allowing a second-order issue to threaten our long-term strategy for East Asia. Futenma, it is worth noting, is not the only matter that the new government has raised. It also speaks of wanting a more equal alliance and better relations with China, and of creating an East Asian community — though it is far from clear what any of this means.


From whence comes the bizarre notion that we should help maintain an anti-Western government in power?

Posted by Orrin Judd at January 7, 2010 7:32 AM
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