Saturday, June 26, 2010


In an effort to share with you a Hudson Valley sunset, I came upon the painting above. It is in the style of the 19th Century Hudson River Valley School. This contemporary artist does not quite capture the subtle coloring and emotions of a Thomas Cole, but it will do.

Yes, it is not a sunset. It looks more likely late morning. If you shift the barns to the left, you have essentially the view from my childhood bedroom. It startled me.

Circling the Alliance

Turkey vultures are ugly, nasty creatures. They eat the dead and decaying. In flight, however, they are quite magnificent. Over the past two days, I watched a number of their kettles soar outside my room overlooking the Catskill mountains.

While I watched these scavengers, the US House of Representatives passed nearly unanimously (only Ron Paul and Dennis Kucinich voted no) Resolution 1464 commemorating a successful 50 years of the US-Japan Treat of Mutual Cooperation and Security.

It is a peculiar Resolution.

First, it originated from the Republican side of the House Committee on Foreign Affairs and not the majority Democrats or the Obama Administration. It was written, I understand, quietly without the advice or prose of any Alliance Manager or the White House.

Minus the usual and unavoidable pomposity about the Alliance being the unshakeable cornerstone of US security interests in the Asia Pacific, upholder of shared values, and the over-emphasis on North Korea, the Resolution was more sensitive to Japan than the usual conservative Republican pro-Alliance rhetoric.

At some points there were even hints of empathy and hope.

To be sure, there was no praise for Japan’s support at the UN Climate Change Conference in Copenhagen or its efforts in the developing world to deal with the inevitable challenges that climate change will bring to the disadvantaged. This is an area that both Japan and the State Department like to emphasize as examples of Japanese global leadership.

The Resolution’s sponsor, Congresswoman Ros-Lehtenin, does not believe in climate change. And she would not accept such a clause.

The Resolution did praise Japan for its “rapid and self- less humanitarian aid to the Republic of Haiti, including sending a Japan Self Defense Force unit.” [emphasis added] This slight exaggeration quietly highlighted a flaw in Japan’s aid policy while raising congressional expectations of Japan.

Mention of Japan’s first-time participation in the US Navy’s Pacific Partnership bringing medical aid to Vietnam and Cambodia further raised expectations. It is unfortunate that the US Government has not made more of the significance of this mission.

Further, the Resolution reminded Tokyo that the Alliance “ encouraged Japan to play a larger role on the world stage and make important contributions to stability around the world.” This seems as much a reminder as it is another marker of expectations. “Do more,” the Resolution says. This is no small matter, as the Japanese people consistently reply to surveys that they do not think Japan can or should exert leadership in the world. 

Most important, the Resolution recognizes the contributions, and by implication the sacrifices, of the average Japanese citizen. The Resolution resolves to recognize “that the broad support and understanding of the Japanese people are indispensable for the stationing of the United States Armed Forces in Japan.”

It recognizes that is not the government of Japan, the Alliance Managers, or the Gaijin Handlers, but the people, the voters, the citizens of Japan that matter for the continuation of the US-Japan relationship. The resolution speaks directly to the Japanese people.

H. Res 1464 has the US House of Representatives express “its appreciation to the people of Japan, and especially on Okinawa, for their continued hosting of the United States Armed Forces.” [emphasis added]

The Okinawans matter to the members of the US Congress. Reducing the burden on Okinawa is a sincere objective. Here there is an expectation for the Japanese people to have of the United States.

As the Resolution states: “the Roadmap [May 1, 2006, the United States-Japan Roadmap for Realignment Implementation] will lead to a new phase in alliance cooperation and reduce the burden on local communities, especially those on Okinawa, thereby providing the basis for enhanced public support for the United States-Japan alliance.” [emphasis added]

There are lots of expectations in this Resolutions. However, expectations need to be based on correct assumptions and facts. And the assumption here is that the Japanese people can be won over to support a security relationship with the United States that is referred to as a military Alliance.

Another assumption is that the powers on both sides of the Pacific still support an Alliance.

It leaves me mystified why the Administration did not encourage a joint congressional resolution supporting the “Alliance” on the Security Treaty’s anniversary. There was so much whining in Washington these past months on how Tokyo needed to honor its agreements.
Maybe the most peculiar thing about Resolution are the members of congress who were the Resolution’s original 10 co-sponsors: Ros-Lehtinen, Manzullo, Poe, Gallegly, Bachmann, Djou, Inglis. Faleomavaega, Bordallo, and Watson. Another resolution, on the same day supporting the US friendship with Columbia, had 32 co-sponsors.
None of the co-sponsors are noted for their influence, intelligence, or reliability. The majority is Republican and of the three Democrats, two do not have the privilege of floor votes.
Like the turkey vultures, they all were making the best of a picked apart carcass—the Alliance. No wonder the Administration left it alone.

Monday, June 21, 2010

The news from France is very bad

On June 17, 1940, France surrendered to Nazi Germany. Prime Minister Winston Churchill took to the airways to announce the defeat and remind his fellow Britons that they had "become the sole champions now in arms to defend the world cause."

The next day, he delivered what many consider one of the finest speeches in the English language, This was their finest hour, to inspire his countrymen to fight on, because if they failed "then the whole world, including the United States, including all that we have known and cared for, will sink into the abyss of a new Dark Age made even more sinister, and perhaps more protracted, by the lights of perverted science."

Seventy years later, to the day, the cabal of Japanese and American Alliance managers met to reassure themselves that they had not been and will not be defeated.  None of the speeches were as eloquent or inspiring as Churchill's. However, they were given with the same level of alarm and crafted to be reassuring to the audience, especially the keynote by Parliamentary Vice Minster for Defense Akihisa Nagashima.

Below is the text of the speech as prepared by Mr. Nagashima. He expounded on the imortance of the Alliance with bold, excellent English. His focus was on what the Japanese Self-Defense Forces could do for the Alliance and for the international community. He talked as if this was all possible. In another post, I will try to examine if it is.

Japan's Adventure Spirit
The contents of this speech are the personal opinion of Vice Minister Nagashima. 

Thank you very much for a kind introduction. I am excited to be here in Washington D.C. in which I lived for five years as a student at Johns Hopkins SAIS, a research fellow at the Council on Foreign Relations, and a father of two American-born daughters. I’m so glad to see many familiar faces among the guests. It is my honor and privilege to speak in front of these distinguished participants about our pacific alliance on the occasion of the 50th anniversary of the Japan-U.S. Security Treaty and 150th anniversary of the Japan-U.S. Treaty on Amity and Commerce.

Today, I would first like to briefly touch upon the history of the encounter of these two Pacific nations. Second, I will talk about the value of the Japan-U.S. Alliance, in other words, what I think the alliance should achieve. Third and last, I would like to discuss what my country should do to further strengthen the alliance.

Prime Minister Shigeru Yoshida is known as a great statesman of Japan’s Showa Era and the architect of the Post-war Japan. In his famous book titled “The 100 years that defined Japan,” Mr. Yoshida says it was “adventure sprit” of the Japanese people that guided Japan through a rocky, and yet successful national transformation that was the Meiji Restoration. According to the book, that adventure sprit typically manifested in the 1860 voyage of the Kanrin-maru to the United States. This voyage was for a Japanese delegation that carried the instrument of ratification of the Japan-U.S. Treaty on Trade and Amity. This event made the Kanrin-maru the first steam-engine vessel operated by Japanese skipper and crew to sail across the Pacific Ocean.

Until not many years ago, Japan had not had even a glimpse of Western steam-engine ships, and it had been only several years since the Japanese began learning modern navigation. Mr. Yoshida asserts that the story of the Kanrin-maru symbolizes the spirit of modern Japan. Once having its country pried open by the Western powers, the Japanese showed remarkable brevity with which to deal with the “shock from the Occident.”

Aboard the Kanrin-maru were 11 Americans, including U.S. Navy Lieutenant John Brooke. It was Lieutenant Brooke who encouraged and assisted the inexperienced Japanese crew members throughout this trans-Pacific voyage. This is arguably one of the first examples of Japan-U.S. cooperation. In the intervening years, Japan and the United States fought an epic battle in the Pacific that claimed the lives of 2.5 million people on both sides.

After the war and ensuing American occupation, Japan and the United States formed an alliance that continues to this day. The longevity and resilience of the Japan-U.S. alliance are the product of hard work by people of many generations on both sides of the Pacific, yourselves included, to which I am eternally grateful.

2. 日本にとっての日米同盟の意義:日米同盟は何を達成すべきか
The Japan-U.S. Alliance was made in the specific context of the Cold War, which came to an end two decades ago. The Alliance, however, is hardly a relic of a bygone era.

During the time when the Alliance was said to be drifting in the aftermath of the Cold War, Japan and the United States worked hard to set new priorities and reaffirm the critical importance of the alliance. Whenever the Alliance faced difficulties, we have always come out stronger. And the alliance has been and remains a critical contributor to the peace and stability of the Asia-Pacific.

2-1. 日本の地政学上の位置から来る同盟の根源的意義
The fundamental and enduring value of the alliance for Japan rests in its geo-political setting, a reality no country can escape from.

Japan is a maritime state situated on the eastern tip of the vast Asian continent and the western rim of the Pacific Ocean. It is about the size of the State of Montana and stretched over 3,000km of an archipelago that comprises over 6,800 islands of various sizes. The length of the coastline totals at 30,000km, surpassing that of the United States. Surrounding waters have long provided natural barrier against external aggressions, but in the age of long-range strikes, Japan’s inherently shallow strategic depth is shrinking further. Moreover, Japan has scarce natural resources and its prosperity is heavily dependent upon the uninterrupted flow of commodities via sea lines of communication.

Japan’s immediate neighbors on the continent include two major nuclear powers, China and Russia. Although Japan and these countries are committed to peaceful, cooperative bilateral relations, there still are differences in terms of political values as well as in the conduct of international relations. Both countries also have illegitimate claims over Japanese sovereignty.

Another neighbor of Japan is a garrison state that continues to pursue its nuclear ambitions in defiance of the collective will of the international community. With its conventional and unconventional military capabilities as well as erratic and violent behavior, North Korea continues to pose clear and present danger to its neighbors.

While harboring security risks and concern for Japan, East Asia has become a major strategic center of gravity with the world’s most dynamic economies that have enjoyed robust and sustained growth for decades. According to the United Nations’ latest estimate, economies of East Asia are expected to grow by more than 7% this year, surpassing all other regions worldwide.

The United States, a Pacific nation with the World’s largest economy and military, therefore continues to have a high stake in remaining a “resident power” in the Asia-Pacific and ensuring peace and stability of the region. While Japan maintains credible military strength for national defense, it is only natural for Japan, and also in the interest of both Japan and the United States to maintain a bilateral security alliance to provide the foundation of the regional security.

2-2. 「中国の台頭」をマネージする
Another aspect of the value of the alliance for Japan regards one of the most significant trends of our time: The re-emergence of China as a great power.

The Japan-U.S. alliance should work to make sure that the rise of China will progress towards a peaceful and prosperous future for Japan, the United States, China, and the world. Three decades of remarkable economic growth, averaging close to 10 %, have made China an economic powerhouse and a key engine of world economy. Both between Japan and China and the United States and China, economic inter-dependency has been on a steady rise. It is no wonder that a prosperous China presents Japan, the United States and the world with a huge opportunity for sustained growth and prosperity.

On the other hand, there are significant differences between China and the free world over socio-political values such as liberal democracy and respect for human rights. Moreover, China’s economic rise has and continues to bring about dramatic growth of its military power. There remains a serious lack of transparency regarding many aspects of China’s military modernization and expanding sphere of military activities.

In particular, China’s growing Anti-Access/Area Denial capabilities are already presenting serious challenges to U.S. capacity to fulfill its security commitment in the Western Pacific. We are also concerned about China’s coercive behavior towards its neighbors backed by its rapidly expanding military power, which has already manifested in areas such as the South China Sea and the East China Sea. I am convinced that Japan and the United States are not the only countries in the Asia-Pacific who share these worries. Working through the alliance, Japan and the United States can guard against potentially negative aspects of China’s emergence. Only by having a credible hedging strategy and capacity, can Japan and the United States effectively engage China to encourage its responsible behavior.

2-3. 「価値の同盟」としての意義
Let me talk about the other thing that tells us about the importance of our Alliance, which is the fact that this alliance is not just an interest-based alliance but also a value-based alliance. I think this facet of the alliance is very important and all the more so in the current era.

Liberal democratic values and principles survived, and prevailed in the Cold War. But the world is still hardly unanimous in embracing these values and principles. Rather, in the age of what Fareed Zakaria calls “the rise of the rest” and emergence of non-democratic economic powers, we hear talks about the ascendancy of “authoritarian state capitalism model,” “contested modernity,” “The Beijing Consensus,” so on and so forth. These notions purport to suggest the viability of alternatives to the values and principles that the free world has defended and promoted.

With all the talks about alternative values, it is my strong belief that parliamentary democracy, civil liberty, the rule of law, and respect for human rights are among the values that all humanity should embrace and strive for. The Japan-U.S. alliance brings together the moral strengths of the two powerful democracies. The continued success of the Japan-U.S. alliance in promoting the world’s peace and stability will speak to the powerful allure of liberal democratic values and a world order built around them.

3. 日米同盟強化のため我が国がなすべき努力
Let me move on to the final part of my presentation: what I think Japan should do to strengthen the alliance. First is to maintain and strengthen Japan’s defense capabilities. Second is to work closely with the United States to building a cooperative, tailored regional posture, as suggested in QDR2010. And third is to enhance Japan Self-Defense Forces’ engagement in international peace operations.

3-1. 日本自身の防衛努力
Let me talk about the first. To ensure an effective Japan-U.S. alliance, the first order of business for Japan is to maintain its own robust defense capabilities.

The Government of Japan is now in the process of reviewing the National Defense Program Guidelines. This document outlines Japan’s strategic environment, sets overall directions of defense strategy, defines priority mission and capability areas, and provides guidance for subsequent force structure design. The review process is proceeding towards the conclusion at the end of this year. As a Parliamentary Vice Minister in charge of the review within the Ministry of Defense, I have been working closely with civilian and military professionals to figure out how best to prepare our forces for the security environment of today and tomorrow.

3-2. 新しいRegional Posture
Second is building a new regional posture. With emerging Anti-Access/Area Denial capabilities in the Western Pacific, balance of military power in the region is undergoing a significant change. Japan should work closely with the United States to craft a combined and tailored regional posture with an optimal mix of U.S. and Japanese roles, missions, and capabilities.

In addition to our capabilities, which represent its static aspect, the new regional posture should also emphasize its “dynamic” elements, which include sustained and coordinated ISR activities by U.S. and Japanese forces as well as combined training with well-designed formats and frequencies. Such regional posture should serve to restrain potential adversaries’ coercive behavior, deter their armed aggressions, and defeat them should deterrence fail.

Japan-U.S. bilateral consultations on new regional posture, which will also inform Japan’s NDPG review process, should include U.S. AirSea Battle concept. This is a concept that appears in QDR2010 as an initiative to address A2/AD threats. I believe Japan has much to contribute in the development and prosecution of the AirSea Battle concept in the Asia-Pacific context. Forward-stationed and rotationally deployed U.S. forces in this region remain a critical component of the regional posture. In this regard, the relocation of Marine Air Station Futenma is very important to ensure the stable stationing of U.S. Marines in Japan.

On May 28th, foreign and defense ministers of Japan and the United States issued a joint statement regarding the Futenma relocation. Prime Minister Kan and his new administration are committed to implement the agreement. In addition to Futenma, the May 28th Joint Statement discusses possible expansion of the joint use of military facilities including Guam by Japanese and U.S. forces. I would expect to see increased joint activities of the two forces in various places throughout the Western Pacific.

3-3. 自衛隊のGlobal Engagementの強化
Third and lastly, Japan should further promote JSDF’s engagement in international security activities. Japanese and U.S. governments have repeatedly affirmed their commitment to enhance cooperation in efforts to address global security issues. Recently, international peace operations such as UN peacekeeping were promoted from the Self-Defense Forces’ secondary mission to main mission.

I know that some U.S. experts are suggesting that Japan should forgo “out-of-area” operations and focus on the alliance’s core mission, which is the defense of Japan. Behind this idea is dissatisfaction over what these experts regard as the limited nature of SDF’s overseas activities, which they think is hurting the “strategic relevance” of the alliance. I know these suggestions are made out of sincere support of the alliance, to which I am very grateful. However, I believe that the SDF should not retreat from their overseas engagement that has gradually but steadily grown since the end of the Cold War.

Admittedly, SDF’s international security portfolio does have room for improvements. Such improvements, including those require legislative actions, cannot be done in the context of national defense missions. Japan is among the major beneficiaries of the world’s peace and stability and therefore must not shrink from sharing responsibility in addressing security concerns beyond its periphery. In this regard, I think Japan should seek to re-energize the activities of Maritime Self-Defense Force in the Indian Ocean, which forms an integral part of vital sea lines of communication for Japan and the world.

4. 結語
In closing, let me refer to Prime Minister Kan’s address in Japanese parliament delivered on June 11th,since my trip this time marks the first U.S. visit by a member of senior political leadership of the new Japanese administration led by Prime Minister Naoto Kan. During the address, Prime Minister Kan said Japan’s foreign and national security policy should be responsible and the conduct of foreign policy should be based on realism. The Prime Minister specifically said that “the Japan-U.S. alliance is international common goods that underpin not only Japan’s security but also stability and prosperity of the Asia-Pacific.”

He underlined his intent to steadfastly deepen the alliance. I am glad to tell you that the government of Japan is fully prepared to advance the Japan-U.S. security alliance to higher stages. It is my aspiration that Japan assumes full responsibilities by taking more risks to deepen the security cooperation of our Pacific Alliance, with the “adventure spirit” which we inherit from our ancestors. I very much look forward to working to that end with your continued support, which this alliance has always enjoyed and continues to need for its vitality and resilience.

Sunday, June 20, 2010

Requiem for the Alliance

From the afternoon of Thursday June 17 until late into the evening of Friday June 18th, Washington's Alliance Managers and their Japanese cohorts reassured themselves that a US-Japan Alliance existed and will continue to be necessary.  They praised the hapless former Prime Minister Yukio Hatoyama as helping bring about a discussion that ended, they believe, in ensuring the importance of the "alliance."

New to their rationales for the Alliance is that it is a "common good" from which all the Asia-Pacific benefits. The "pillars", "lynchpins", and "cornerstones"--the architectures of the Alliance--are giving way to some sort of cosmic public good. A newbie to the dialogue, Daniel Twining from the German Marshall Fund of all places, emphasized what he said was Mike Green's "bumper sticker" of an "ideal-ational balance"in Asia. Common values, ideals will shape the Alliance.

In a long, plodding series of seminar-style talks, nearly every one of Japan's handful of security-interested English speakers(Yukio Okamoto was strangely missing) talked the language of military security. They teamed with all the American Alliance promotors old and new. Missing here were Michael Auslin from AEI and Shelia Smith from CFR who are generally the new spokesmodels of the Alliance.

Of the 39 speakers, only two were women. National Defense Academy Professor Takako Hikotani was a last minute addition to the panel on Global Commons and Yuriko Koike, LDP deputy party head and fleeting Defense Minister. Koike gave a snarky anti-DPJ dinner keynote, confirming that the LDP really got nothing and that she did not even succeed at sleeping her way to the middle.

The only members of the DPJ were keynote speakers Parliamentary Vice Minister of Defense Akihisa Nagashima and Acting DPJ General Secretary Goshi Hosono. It was frankly difficult to discern above the dim of bro-mance in room from their extraordinarily direct, muscular pro-military talks if these men were on or off the DPJ reservation. Tall, handsome, and English-speaking these were the kind of Japanese white men could easily relate to and white women might actually consider sleeping with (the holy grail, I am told for Japanese men).

Center for New American Security's Patrick Cronin was the only voice of reflection. As the last speaker of the last panel at nearly 7pm on a Friday night, he warned the few gathered that maybe they should not be so sanguine about what looked like a revived Alliance. After all, he noted, there was no one from Okinawa in the room. The US needed to get to know the DPJ. He emphasized that it was most important to "respect those who were not in the room" that day.

Despite the brief downer, it was a self-congratulatory two days of "we made it through the crisis and the Alliance is back." The ultra-conservative Sasakawa family of foundations was the funder: Nippon Foundation, Sasakawa Peace Foundation, Tokyo Foundation, and the Ocean Policy Research Foundation. Yohei Sasakawa, himself, opened up the conference.

Unlike the previous conferences hosted on the Alliance by these foundations in Washington, this one was not at CSIS. CNAS was the American host. Apparently, there are more formerly CNAS members in the Administration than from CSIS.

I will write more on the gathering, but I have already written too much. I was inspired to write by how the Nippon Foundation succinctly entitled the meeting on its website. Program documents say 150 Years of Amity and 50 Years of Alliance: Adopting an Enhanced Agenda for the U.S.-Japan Partnership.

However, the Nippon Foundation gave it a more fitting heading: Memorial Symposium for the Japan-U.S. Security Treaty in Washington. In English, one has a "memorial" for something that is dead.

Saturday, June 19, 2010

Who said the US is in decline?

America is in decline, so we believe. In Washington policymakers wring their hands in worry looking at statistics that show falling national test scores and decreasing student interest in the sciences. In 2007, the National Academies Board on Science, Technology, and Economic Policy released, Rising Above the Gathering Storm, which indicated that the United States is not producing sufficient numbers of scientists and engineers (S&E) to meet our future national security needs.

Sometimes, I wonder if we underestimate the resilience of America.

On the final day of my daughter’s 7th grade class, the English teacher asked the students how they thought they did that year.

First to jump in was Ali, the son of upper class Pakistani World Bank officials. He launched into, my daughter recalls, a rant on how American schools are in decline and that although he received all As, in other countries, with better schools, these grades would only be C.

Miss Cornelia, my daughter, a direct descendant of Jonathan Edwards, Aaron Burr, and some Jewish fishermen, tells me she was appalled. She said, she turned to him and exclaimed coldly, “But Ali, what do you feel inside? How do you think you did?”

Master Ali who since kindergarten has sought Miss Cornelia’s attention even going to so far as to give her all his Halloween candy foolishly more than once, found himself dismissed, but again.

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Pictures that say it all

The photo editor of the Tuesday, June 15th New York Times had a good day. He had a chance to keep up with his British colleagues who have a tradition of letting the photos tell the story. The above photo bloc was paired with a story on if Mr. Kan can retain the prime ministership.

The photos reveal American elite impressions of the past six Japanese prime ministers. Only Koizumi can look you in the eye, and he was considered a slippery goof. The rest are, well, somewhere else. Abe looked to the heavens for help and Fukuda was too professorial for the job. Aso was nasty, little weasel and Hatoyama had to apologize for too much. Kan clearly looks like he has the weight of the world upon him.

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Where did I see this before?

Chris Bickford for The New York Times
Port Fourchon, LA

Salvatore Dali

Rene Magritte

Thursday, June 3, 2010

Not such a dark horse

It has all been too pat and too fast the resignation of Yukio Hatoyama and expected appointment of Naoto Kan as Japan's next PM. The Japanese newspapers yesterday were reporting that the new DPJ party leader will be selected, the PM elected by the Diet, and new Cabinet unveiled all on Friday. Heck of a busy day. And then, on Monday, the new PM Kan will give a policy speech to the Diet! 

This was not a casual thought.

The informed betting is that the "dark horse" candidate for PM Shinju Tarutoko will become DPJ party secretary general replacing Ozawa. He is one of the so-called Seven Magistrates who claim their were troubled by Hatoyama and objected to Ozawa. His candidacy for PM was less serious than merely a quick and dirty public relations move. How else do you get interest in and a quick spotlight on a Matsushita Institute-trained, environment-interested technocrat? He almost could be a white man...

While in DC making the rounds of the important people back in February, Tarutoko was a bit more equivocal. He would not quite identify himself as a Seven Magistrate (I know, as I was probably the only one who asked him). He is, however, considered an Ozawa lieutenant and is conservative like Maehara and Nagashima. Among the American Alliance managers and their Japanese friends, he is viewed as a "safe", educable, and thoughtful member of the DPJ. 

They like him. He is interested in collective security. He thinks the US and Japan can cooperate on climate security. He can mumble English.

Kan is best known in Japan as "Inemuri-Kan (Dozing Kan)." He apparently falls asleep a lot. With Tarutoko as party leader and Ozawa in the shadows, he might want to stay awake. Kan has more liberal proclivities than either man. One wonders if this progression of idealistic to liberal leaders is a strategy to disillusion voters with the more socially conscious, peace-loving arm of the DPJ. Maybe, Ozawa's creative destruction of the DPJ to eventually jettison extremes is at play. 

For Americans fixated on the Alliance and Futenma, no matter who is PM, the current roadmap will be kept, but it is unworkable. It is not that Okinawa is powerful. It has only 4 Lower House votes. And Main Island Japanese care little for their plight. However, the discussion of why does Japan need US troops on its soil has started. And it will get ugly again when Okinawans throw themselves in front of trucks and bulldozers. Thus, Washington should not feel too victorious for sticking to its plan. Even a more "conservative" Japanese government is going to have its own ideas about security. These too are unlikely to reflect American interests or concerns.