Friday, February 27, 2009

Reporting the Aso Visit

Out in Hawaii, there is a great little organization that supports PacCom (that is kool language for US Pacific Command) called the Virtual Information Center or the Vic. It hosts one of my favorite websites. These hard working folks scan the English-language literature on all of Asia and publish daily a listing of all relevant news articles with links to the complete articles sorted by country. They also publish country primers and compilations of news articles on specific events and issues. And even better, they will email all these to you.

Today, they published their compilation of news articles on the Aso-Obama Summit. It is 15 pages. Who knew that the summit even generated that much news in any language, let alone in English. It is a great keeper for those who thought the meeting had some significance or don't want to forget that it happened, or just have too much time on their hands.

As with each issue-specific VIC product, there is a summary/assessment:

President Obama’s decision to host PM Aso as the first head of State to visit the White House under his administration symbolizes the continuing importance of the U.S.-Japan alliance for both Northeast Asia’s regional stability but also for the world’s, especially in view of the two country’s standing as the top world economies. For Aso, it provided an opportunity to boost his sagging domestic ratings by showcasing Japan’s status and value to the U.S. Detracting from the visit was the lack of any associated activities (state dinner or even a joint press conference). Receiving mixed reviews in Japan, the visit is unlikely to help Aso as he struggles to maintain both his position and his party’s hold on power. This may not bode well in the long-run, especially should the Democratic Party of Japan, which may not be as cooperative with the U.S. in future security issues, wins the upcoming Lower House elections and gains control of the government.

To access the full report, see HERE.

Not in the VIC report is the Washington Post interview with Prime Minister Aso. Nothing extraordinary, but ends with a let's "railroad," which you can take any way you want.

1 comment:

  1. It seems like Ozawa was accurate in his response in the VIC report---almost no serious content in the Obama/Aso discussion.


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