The true meaning of Prime Minister Shinzo Abe's visit to the United StatesI think I am going to be sick. Remind me, did my tax yen pay for this?
The Japan Times
By Mitsuru Kitano
Wednesday, May 16, 2007 - WASHINGTON — Most of the reporting and reviews surrounding the visit of Prime Minister Shinzo Abe to the United States on April 26-27 focused on the issue of North Korea or the wartime "comfort women," but in truth, the significance of the visit was much broader.
First, the 90-minute summit meeting at Camp David on April 27 was of great significance to both Abe and U.S. President George W. Bush in that they confirmed the "irreplaceable Japan-U.S. alliance" and committed to strengthening it further.
Characteristic of the meeting was that the two leaders devoted about half of the 90-minute meeting to their tete-a-tete talk. Abe told Bush that he would strive to move Japan beyond the postwar regime as the mission of the Abe administration and that he was determined to carry through structural reforms in the economic area.
The fact that the prime minister of Japan and the president of the U.S. laid bare their respective political convictions and talked frankly about what they are trying to achieve through their policies deepens the Japan-U.S. alliance sustained by our shared values of freedom and democracy. This is what was achieved at the summit meeting at Camp David.
On second thought, don't remind me.
Is it just me, or is that first sentence of the fourth paragraph way too hot?
...the meeting between Abe and congressional leaders had a substantive meaning to further strengthen the ties between Japan and the U.S. Among those attending this meeting were the Democratic and Republican leaders of the House and Senate, including Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer and House Minority Leader John Boehner, as well as such influential senators as Daniel Inouye and Ted Stevens, who have personally valued the Japan-U.S. relationship.And I have nothing to say about whether that nasty turncoat Representative Mike Honda was invited to the meeting or not. Look at me, I've already forgotten him completely! Learn from my example!
Let's all think happy thoughts. Mmmmm...meetings with substantive meaning...so much better than meetings with non-substantive meaning, don't you agree?
...the fact that Abe visited the U.S. with his wife broadened the width of summit diplomacy. Mrs. Abe visited cultural and educational facilities in Washington. She also deepened interchanges with the president and Mrs. Bush and gave them a favorable impression. "Prime Minister Abe married very well," Bush said. Adding to the fact that the two leaders came to call each other "George" and "Shinzo" (this was proposed by Bush), it was a big plus for bilateral relations that this personal relationship of trust was built.Look I call my dog by his first name--it doesn't mean a damn thing.
Madame Abe's presence "broadened the width of summit diplomacy", did it? Are you sure it didn't "heighten the height"? Or perhaps "deepened the depth"? Or were her "deepening the interchanges with the president and Mrs. Bush" racy enough for one already hot and bothered op-ed, thank you very much?
Currently, the Japan-U.S. alliance has transcended a bilateral relationship between Japan and the U.S.; it is an alliance for Asia and the world. It is sustained by multifaceted people-to-people relationships. Should the debate on the results of Abe's visit to the U.S. be confined to a small number of issues and fail to notice its wide impact, the significant outcome of this visit will be overlooked.Yes, if the debate on the results of Abe's visit to the U.S. is confined to a small number of issues and fails to notice its wide impact, the significant outcome of this visit will be overlooked. You are correct. Good. A+.
"Currently"? The transcendence is only temporary? How unimpressive.
Mitsuru Kitano is minister for public affairs at the Embassy of Japan in Washington.And he will get paid this month, on time, for doing such a crackerjack job.