politics

Trump-Kim summit heightens Japan's fear of being sidelined on N Korea

33 Comments
By Linda Sieg and Nobuhiro Kubo

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33 Comments
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Rightly so.

-4 ( +4 / -8 )

Considering the historical acts of extreme aggression and treachery by the USA and Japan on North Korea and other nations I would advise Kim to never completely de-nuke.

-5 ( +10 / -15 )

Japan has wasted the past 5 years by anti-China policy. As a Asian nation, Japan pivoted to a non-Asian tribe. PM Abe is just a chieftain. Japan was sidelined by Abe, not by any other nations. The world has changed and Japan is a loser because Abe.

-1 ( +7 / -8 )

Japan is an appendix of America.

0 ( +5 / -5 )

Japan is sidelined because Abe offered nothing but bluster. South Korea's Moon Jae-in initiated a breakthrough by talks and Trump is seizing the opportunity. Abe's foreign policy is that of truculent 8 year old which may impress his Japanese electorate but is seen by more strategically adept political players (especially also China) as nothing but defiant postering.

9 ( +11 / -2 )

....sorry, posturing.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

a chance for elimination of the near threat of NK but Japan is more concerned about being "left out" of the limelight. Typical BS here

9 ( +12 / -3 )

Kim will accomplish the dream of his father and grandfather by making North Korea a nuclear state, and gain tremendous prestige and legitimacy by meeting with an American President as an equal. All without giving up a single warhead or missile.

Trump charges ahead and takes risks. High rewards but high risks. Think of your pet and how your pet felt when you brought home a new pet. The dog/cat had no choice but to get along with the new pet.

If you’ve had this experience before, you’ll understand Abe’s feelings if Trump has some success in meeting Kim. Imagine if the meeting is in Florida and Trump takes Kim on his golf course for a photo op. Abe can only sit quietly and deal with Moritomo and some doctored documents.

Trump’s political theatre is on a different scale. It is opening night on Broadway. Abe’s is a little live house in the basement Tuesday night in Shimokitazawa.

-1 ( +2 / -3 )

Hey Japan, maybe they do not want you included because you will bring up the abductees issue again, an issue you should have done something about 47 YEARS AGO instead of now when there are more important things at steak, like denuclearizing NK

10 ( +12 / -2 )

I don't believe Trump will succeed. Negotiating with North Korea is the right idea, but he is too easy to manipulate with flattery or attractive women, too lazy to deeply research the matter, and too inexperienced with real negotiation. Mr. Art-of-the-Deal is a sham, a wrestler's ring persona, ghost-written by other writers who now regret their contribution to the Trump brand. We all want him to succeed, but realistically speaking, it seems unlikely.

But all that said, I have zero sympathies for members of the LDP worried about this meeting. Under Abe's leadership, Japan has made itself irrelevant to this negotiation process by not exercising diplomatic leadership. The Abe administration's main response to North Korean missile tests has been gestures to raise support at home, like stopping trains and hyping up the threat. When pressed to do something Abe's team alternates between two responses:

If other countries' talks with North Korea are going badly, they firmly agree that North Korea is a very bad country.

If other countries talks with North Korea are going well, they bleat about abductees that every serious participant in the discussion knows are never coming home and are probably already dead. Abe's party exploits the grieving families of abducted Japanese people to keep anxiety about North Korea in the news, but has made no concrete action to actually move the issue toward resolution.

Which is the LDP approach to North Korea in a nutshell. It works to their advantage to never resolve the problem, so they haven't done anything to resolve it. So while normally I think decisions must be resolved by stakeholders in the decision, on this particular issue Abe has abdicated his responsibility for resolving the problem so I don't think anyone else trying to solve the problem should worry about it. If Abe feels bad about being side-lined, he should step up. Stop being a fear-monger and start being a leader.

9 ( +11 / -2 )

Akie, Anti-china?

Im not sure that wanting to make sure your increasingly aggressive neighbor keeps to itself is anti-china as such, besides which no matter what you or any misplaced politicians words say China is already Japans biggest import partner and second biggest export, doesn't sound all that Anti-china to me in reality or where it actually matters.

China brazenly claiming large parts of the pacific as it spends record amounts on its military and changes its constitution to allow almost dictatorship rule is another topic, but not totally unrelated.

I can understand why Japan is concerned about being sidelined, it as US ally, or more or less US occupied, for good or bad, and has no real means to defend itself from North Korea which has directly threatened it or any other country that wishes to inch into Japans sovereign territory. If Trump agrees to lessen the US presence in South Korea and the pacific as a negotiation tool for North Korea to stop testing and building nuclear weapons it will leave Japan in a less secure position.

That may in time lead to the change in the Japanese constitution that no-one really wants, or the relocation of the South Korean assets to Japan, which I don't think anyone really wants either.

-2 ( +3 / -5 )

There's nothing I'd like more than Japan to be sidelined from these talks for the reasons that katsu78 and mu-da so eloquently gave.

4 ( +6 / -2 )

One of Abe's main mistakes has been to say 'yes, sir' to everything Trump does/says, he's been Trump's EA since day-one. Thing is loyal sidekicks do get sidelined/discarded when big bullies like DT no longer need them and that's what's happening here and he has only himself to blame for that.

Now I think Abe's more concerned about loss of face & being irrelevant than NK being denuclearized. He'll probably try to worm his way back onto centre stage using sensitive/emotional (yet imo irrelevant for now) and '100% J' issues such as abductees.

Abe & Moon doing their utmost to be DT's best/only mate in Asia is quite frankly pathetic.

8 ( +8 / -0 )

NZ2011, your comments were broad. First, there are always positive people in Japan to keep Japan-China relationship beneficially to each other, especially people and business groups. But some politicians are also very anti-China. As for South China Sea, China claimed it during ROC time, before 1949. ROC did it also because Japan and other European nations repeatedly occupied Chinese traditional fishing ground and Islands. The current govt actually is very pragmatic in dealing with other nations. Japan returned all occupied Islands back to China, together with Taiwan. To claim the South China Sea is disputed by Abe is really anti-China and anti-historical fact. As for US-Japan relationship, it should not prevent US-China relationship, and Japan-China relationship. Japan should be goods friends to both US and China. As for the peace constitution, with or without China, Korea, Abe is always wanted to do it.

0 ( +4 / -4 )

Abe is the little kid at the back of the classroom who has to raise his hand and jump up and down for anyone to notice. “Me, me!!” Or wear a Mario costume. Japan deserves better than him - especially right now.

6 ( +8 / -2 )

"There are not people in the White House who are experienced in negotiations with North Korea, so I have a little bit of apprehension about the process," said a former Japanese diplomat. "One meeting is OK but if a second meeting takes place without results, that will be a big mistake."

Well, since all the other "experienced people" including current and " former Japanese diplomats " have achieved precisely jack all results in decades of dealing with NK maybe the " inexperienced " bunch can have a go. They might actually get some results and put egg on all the "experts " faces.

@Katsu78  - excellent post.

3 ( +4 / -1 )

Its all so predictable. Now scare japanese with NK. Next russia islands or china islands. Japanese will always be scared,but but never vote.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

I hate to say I told you so, but, I told you so, Trump has been setting up Abe San to be the fall guy insomuch

as Trump has been bullying Abe San to be more aggressive hoping Japan will fire the first shot. in anger.

Now because Trump was being left behind he claims this meeting was arranged without Japans knowledge or input.

Blindsiding his so called friend and allie Trump has effectively said DONT NEED YOU NOW.

This is my court now. This is once again ALL ABOUT ME!

-3 ( +0 / -3 )

President Trump and VP Michael Pence will not "sideline" Japan. Japan is USA's "best friend in Asia".Japan and USA are "on the same page" about North Korea, and because they stopped trading with NK and enforced an embargo, brought Kim to the Negotiating table. PM Abe and Pres. Trump hold all the cards.

-5 ( +2 / -7 )

Abe is no leader.

News is reporting Akie’s name (Abe’s wife not the JT forum poster) has been delete 20-50 times from 14 of the Moritomo documents. The tampering was done last February. How do you lead Japan when you’re doing these kind of things?

Abe is a true survivor.

6 ( +7 / -1 )

Abe's gotta be sweating... on the one hand he is still lugging Trump's golf clubs and then jumping up and down, nipping at his heels when he puts them down, and on the other hand he needs to try and appeal to the ultra-right wing base here, whom he has promised repeatedly that Japan will stop at NOTHING short of complete denuclearisation. And all the while Abe has been going around pushing other nations to isolate China and NK, and watched the US now slap tariffs on Japan without making the automatic exception Abe and Japanese think they should be.

2 ( +4 / -2 )

Why shouldn't Japan be "sidelined"??  Ultimately this is between the 2 Koreas.

4 ( +4 / -0 )

Ganbare Japan!, which international law says that Japan is USA's best friend in Asia ?

0 ( +3 / -3 )

See Japan, this is why being a vassal state ultimately sucks, despite the trinkets, baubles and distractions offered in return. Either throw the US out and start going your own way again, or shut up.

-3 ( +2 / -5 )

I think most here, GET IT!

Japan while of course very much AFFECTED by what NK does or doesn't do, there is simply NO reason Japan should be front & centre in ANY of this!

Japan really needs to know when to play a supporting role & STOP pretending to be something is NEVER WAS!

I know it grates on some in Japan, to that I say shoganai!

Many others have already pointed out the MANY  reasons why Japan should stay out of the lime light on this one so I will stop here!!

5 ( +5 / -0 )

Is Abe's concern about being sidelined and left out more to do with losing his prestige as the "go-between" between NK and SK/US/UN and losing the opportunity to get a Nobel Peace Prize for brokering a peace deal?

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

Japan feels sidelined?! Welcome to the club. Here's the latest scorecard:

Sarah Sanders said Trump was “not going to have this meeting take place until we see concrete actions that match the words and the rhetoric of North Korea”.

White House spokeswoman (likely reflecting Trum) contradicts her, saying "We will accept the invitation."

Rex Tillerson, at first unaware of what his boss was up to, had said direct negotiations were a distant prospect.

Sanders' deputy, Raj Shah, said Sunday the meeting had been premised on “a commitment to denuclearisation” made by Kim. 

Mike Pompeo, the director of the CIA, said Sunday the meeting had been premised on Kim “agreeing to have a conversation about denuclearisation”.

Jeff Flake encapsulated the view of GOP congressmen: “I don’t think anybody really believes that North Korea is prepared to denuclearise,” Far harsher vocabulary was undoubtedly used behind closed doors.

Ron Johnson, also encapsulating the view of GOP congressmen, urged Trump to “ratchet up” sanctions on Kim, saying the US must not “let off the pressure and just watch [North Korea’s] behaviour go in the wrong direction”

At the Pennsylvania rally, Trump says “for now we have to be very nice” to Kim.

At the same rally, Trump laid out what is apparently his strategy: “They are thinking about that (denuclearisation) – who knows what’s going to happen?”

There remains the strong possibility that when Kim says "denuclearisation," he means mutual. There has been no defining of terms.

So Japan shouldn't feel bad about being "left out." Everyone is.

2 ( +4 / -2 )

It never occurred to me that Trump might make a deal that would leave Japan vulnerable to nuclear attack, while protecting the US. To me, as an American, such a deal would be intolerable. Our allies, IMO, should have our genuine guarantee of mutual protection. An attack on one is an attack on all. Anything else is unacceptable to me, and I think, to most Americans. As for what goes on inside the twisted head of Trump, who knows. Being in the position of Japan or South Korea, and knowing that your protection is dependent on such a crazy individual, must be very hard to bear.

-5 ( +0 / -5 )

News in USA guess that meeting on nutral ground is DMZ.

China and Japan will wait Trump's newest insult on Kim.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Sidelined! What does Abe want to contribute? Abe should concentrate of re-gaining Japanese sovereignty and ending US occupation.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Japan is already taking credit. CNN reported Japanese Gov't announced a little pressure worked on NK.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Again, the problem here is that the article itself is "opinionated" by so called experts that quotes and expanded on the opinion and feelings of undisclosed government officials. So therefore, the discussion revolves around those opinions. It is important not to be "distracted" by such opinions.

I

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Who cares if Japan is sidelined? Abe should just concentrate on improving Japan's economy. If he wants attention from Trump and Congress, buy more US Treasuries or weapons. That will get their attention fast.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

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