politics

Abe to meet Obama in Washington on Feb 22

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After many years of Japan's economic success, still very few countries respect Japan as a influential society. Somehow, influential communication is something that Japan never mastered. The U.S. and Japan relations has matured and fundamentally strong. However, there are some problems. U.S. policy interests toward Japan seem to have waned, and U.S. has less interest in Japan. There is a sense of complacency about Japan, a sense in U.S. that nothing much is going to happen in Japan. Japan needs to develop a think tank so that it has a better ability to send messages internationally. Japan needs to bring issues to the table so that it is not pushed to the side in favor of other countries. Maybe it's difficult for Japan since PM Abe might not last very long on a continue revolving door.

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He has a week to brush up his English then, doubt he'll be able to mangle an autocue during facetime

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@sfjp330 Unless you mean "respect" in the sense of not taking Japan's security seriously I would dispute your statements somewhat. It's true that American interest in Japan has waned but I think that's for two reasons. One America doesn't need Japan to help against the Soviet Union anymore and is only recently starting to reconsider it for China and North Korea and Two America is no longer afraid of Japan buying it out like it did before the 90s. By contrast if polls I've read mean anything Japan is "the" number one most respected and trusted nation in the world with most nations overall expressing the highest positive sentiment for Japan itself and its soft power and trust in its policies and world influence. This is apparently a combination of public and government opinion and it's rather well above the U.S. and China and even countries like Australia, Canada, South Korea and Germany. But you're probably right if you're saying that if Japan ever called for help the rest of the world would probably not take it seriously.

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I have to disagree. Japan is still, and is perhaps more than ever, the U.S. State Department's declared #1 Asian priority; the key state in the U.S. self-defined mission of maximizing its influence and military power advantages there. Appeasing and supporting the worst factions of the Japanese government's worst tendencies (its saber-rattling far right; its territorial breast beating; its obsessive politically motivated use of the North Korean abductions; and its more than 50 years of record-holding international parental child abductions!!!, and corrupt political and -industrial partnerships, with their shoddy construction and mafia-like hold on the police, the public dialogue, energy policy, etc...) - as long as the Japanese party in power buckles under and doesn't let politics disturb the continuation of numerous, high-impact, highly autonomous U.S.military bases all over Japan. In recent years "Japan bashing" evolved into the threat of "Japan passing" but the reality remained much the same. Japan is the junior partner; and the Japanese political class has gone along. The only tolerated differences are between those who want Japan to assert more and those who want Japan to remain less assertive of its diplomatic and military role on its own.

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I can hear him practicing his speech now.

"No plobrem, Mr Obama. You can build base in Henoko. Okinawa OK. Reave it to me! And I got budget. Japan buy prenty arms from U.S.A. Abe good boy, yes?"

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Title should be Abe Kow Towing to Obama in Washington and beg for military and currency support.

Let's just call it as it is. No need to sugar coat anything between big brother and... wait... is Japan even considered as a little brother? I thought UK is the little brother... so where does Japan stand in this relationship? Little nephew?

I got it, the little friend that could.

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So, what's the difference between Abe and Noda? Would Noda do anything differently now? Hmm.

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BertieWoo Feb. 16, 2013 - 11:30AM JST I can hear him practicing his speech now. "No plobrem, Mr Obama. You can build base in Henoko. Okinawa OK. Reave it to me! And I got budget. Japan buy >prenty arms from U.S.A. Abe good boy, yes?"

Your childish imitation of Japanese "Engrish" is OFFENSIVE, VULGAR and RACISCT.

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songwillem2011Feb. 16, 2013 - 09:27AM JST But you're probably right if you're saying that if Japan ever called for help the rest of the world would probably not >take it seriously.

I guess you missed all of March 2011.

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sfjp330Feb. 16, 2013 - 08:56AM JST After many years of Japan's economic success, still very few countries respect Japan as a influential society. >Somehow, influential communication is something that Japan never mastered. The U.S. and Japan relations has >matured and fundamentally strong.

Not sure what you are talking about. The 1980s saw all of democratic Asia looking up to and following Japan's lead. Today you can find young people dressed up in Cosplay and imitating the Tokyo-harajuku look in every country in Asia. If that's what you mean by cultural influence. If you mean an influence like the United Sfates, no, since Japan isn't a global superpower with a political agenda.

However, there are some problems. U.S. policy interests toward Japan seem to have waned, and U.S. has less >interest in Japan. There is a sense of complacency about Japan, a sense in U.S. that nothing much is going to happen >in Japan. Japan needs to develop a think tank so that it has a better ability to send messages internationally. Japan >needs to bring issues to the table so that it is not pushed to the side in favor of other countries. Maybe it's difficult for >Japan since PM Abe might not last very long on a continue revolving door.

I think you are dead wrong. The US-Japan alliance is the pillar of US strategy in east Asia, now more than ever. US concern and the "pivot" to the Pacific started well before the Abe administration. Of special interest to the U.S. is that this administration appears most likely to agree with the US position that Japan increase it's security role in the region.

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