Tuesday, April 21, 2009

In Absentia

Joe Nye, Harvard professor, Chairman of Pacific Forum CSIS, and much-rumored next US ambassador to Japan, was unable to attend the Third US-Japan Sea Power Dialogue or its companion public conference last week.

Instead, he had distributed a page and a half of his thoughts. He began,
As Richard Armitage and I  noted in the second Armitage-Nye report..."Asia is key to a stable, prosperous world order that best advances American interests." I have long believed, like all of you here today, that the future of the US "requires a robust, dynamic relationship with the new Asia of 2020, and the keystone of the United States' position in remains the US-Japan alliance."
He then goes on to cite the importance of "smart power" and cooperation for today's new transnational challenges. And he concludes that the US and Japan have a "special role to play" in securing regional peace and leading a consortium of seafaring nations bound by shared values.

Nye is indeed the Democratic yang to Dick Armtiage's Republican yin.


  1. Is he still only rumored to be the next ambassador? http://mdn.mainichi.jp/mdnnews/news/20090418p2a00m0na010000c.html

    I'm sure Japan is happy to see him again.

  2. Yes, the Mainichi article remains only speculation.

    Hillary has gotten her way on every appointment at State. The real buzz is that the White House wants to have more control over the ambassadorial appointments and thus wants their man in Tokyo and Beijing. And Nye is not their man.

    What astonishes folks here in DC, is how much the Japanese and their friends have lobbied for Nye. That alone should give one pause.

    The upside of the "delayed" announcement is that Nye makes an incredible fundraiser for the Pacific Forum folks.


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