Sunday, August 2, 2009

No Ambiguity Here

Washington's Alliance Managers are not happy with the impending change of government in Japan. To be sure, there is some cause for concern. The DPJ's foreign policies are fluid and in transition.

Yet, this ambiguity has not stopped the Managers from passing judgment. In a recent Sankei interview, CSIS Japan Chair Deputy Director Nicholas Szechenyi observed that DPJ foreign policy had become more centrist as it became apparent that economic worries were of more interest to the electorate than security concerns.

His Lord, Mike Green, was more blunt in testifying to Congress a few weeks ago. As the Sankei reports, "The DPJ has no plan for transferring power, and since there is confrontation inside the party on security policy, it is unclear how long the party will last even if it assumes power."

This said, the Japanese Embassy was quick to arrange with Dr. Green an invitation-only forum for visiting DPJ foreign policy adviser and Upper House Member Yukihisa Fujita. So if you are in downtown Washington on Friday, August 7th between 10 and 11 am, do stop by the 5th floor conference room at CSIS, 1800 K Street, NW. Most folks will be out of town on an August Friday, so there will be plenty of room. Be warned, CSIS rarely even gives coffee these days and the discussion is "strictly off the record." But, you certainly will be a lot more fun than whoever does appear, despite the bad coffee.


  1. According to a recent article in the Asahi Shimbun the LDP's recently released manefesto is shameful. It offers no specifics. That is not to say the DPJ's manifesto is much better but I am all for some change in Japan. Aso has been worthless on the one issue I am interested in where as Hatoyama has promised some change according to a recent interview by the Japan Times Herald. Hatoyama is in favor of signing the Hague and he is also in favor of joint custody, 2 issues that are gaining momentum in Japan and abroad. So perhaps Washington's Alliance Managers should get behind the DPJ because the DJP can't do any worse than the LDP.

  2. Well, are they happy with the LDP?

    I can't help thinking the bearded one is setting the DPJ up for a fall, though. Type Yukihisa Fujita into Youtube and see what you get.

  3. Yes, Anon, I have unfortunately seen the videos. And yes too I have spent some time trying to explain to the good Senator on how inane and offensive those views are to Americans.

    However, I now understand that these views are part of a greater skepticism of the US and are far more "mainstream" among Japanese liberals than we understand. It is representative of an internationalist view in Japan. He is right that the Bush Admin has a lot more explaining to do; but some of his conclusions are simply wrong.

    I believe the Senator is well aware of Mikey's tricks, and is maybe more prepared than we think.

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