Sunday, February 18, 2007

Empty Sky

Small blessings, as two good articles are out this weekend on Japan as it seems to be in early 2007.

Bryan Walsh of Time has a cover story on the gap between the Prime Minister's political program and the current interests of the public (a gap that, as Okumura Jun points out over at GlobalTalk 21, the Democrats are managing to continue to fail to exploit).

I tend to believe that Abe's poll numbers have stabilized and that he will survive the July election. However, his tenure will probably be as unmemorable and dispiriting as those of the string of short-termers in the 1990s.

Not if you count Asia policy, though. Bruce Wallace together with his Beijing counterpart at the Los Angeles Times ponder the sudden warmth in Sino-Japanese relations.

Frankly, seeing Foreign Minister Li Zhaoxing giggling, mugging and grinning on Friday like a dweeb who managed to score an impossible-to-believe date with a hottie caused me to feel more than my usual amount of apprehension.

A bubbly Li Zhaoxing and a promise of a visit from Wen "I am so not here" Jiabao. Oh my!

See what you can get if you just stop visiting 14 ghosts once a year for a few minutes?

Evening at Yasukuni Shrine
Chiyoda-ku, Tokyo Metropolitan District
February 18, 2007
Photo credit: MTC

In a somewhat interesting side development in the Masako book brouhaha, a commenter to the blog Asia Exile accuses Princess Masako author Ben Hills of having a history of problems with the sourcing of his stories.

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