Anonymous blogging will end today.
The Leaderboard: Stefan Selig
2 hours ago
His main foreign-policy goal is to establish a more “equal” partnership with America. This, however, puts him in the predicament of a rebellious youth desperate to break out of its parents’ clutches—but unable to afford it. He has expensive campaign promises to meet, such as expanding social welfare and child support, and little scope to spend more on rearming.What you have committed with this little turn of phrase is what we in this blessed land call "a self-inflicted injury."
One of those parties consists of former socialists who have staunchly opposed keeping American troops on Japanese soil. Only after lengthy bargaining did it agree to water down its anti-American stance.One of the parties, the Democratic Socialist Party of Japan, is a not a party of former socialists (small "s"). It is a party of real, present day socialists (small "s").
Throughout its history Japan, when it has not closed its doors to foreigners altogether, has tended to seek out and support the dominant or rising powers of the day, be that middle-kingdom China, Nazi Germany or post-war America. China's emergence thus presents its diplomats with something of a novelty: the task of balancing relations between two powers at once.I have to think of the last time a government based in Japan has sought to support any of the dynasties of "middle-kingdom China." O.K, the Ashikaga bakufu, maybe. No, it really is hard to see how this claim of accommodating the rising or dominant powers can be squared with Japan foreign policy since, oh, let us say the time of Sugawara no Michizane (845-903) to the arrival of the black ships of Commodore Matthew Perry.
Mr Hatoyama has made a strong commitment to improve relations with other Asian countries, and has a chance of easing decades-old tensions because of his party's history of sincere apology for Japan’s wartime atrocities.The DPJ has a history of sincere apologies for Japan's wartime atrocities? Individuals within the DPJ, possibly...but the party as a whole? I am willing to be proven wrong on this one...or on any of the rest of the points I raise above.