Book Authored (ISBN-10: 0824821599)

Book Authored (ISBN-10: 0824821599)
Sovereign Rights and Territorial Space in Sino-Japanese Relations: Irredentism and the Diaoyu/Senkaku Islands (ISBN-10: 0824824938)

Thursday, March 15, 2012

Tokyo’s Transformation?/Third-Class Politicians Only Provide the Third-Rate Policy-XXI

The article (titling “Tokyo’s transformation”) is published in Foreign Affairs by Eric Heginbotham, Ely Ratner, and Richard J. Samuels. It should be a very interesting article for many because Samuels is well-known figure in the academy world. However, something does not make sense in the article.
(1) “By April 2010, when the United States made it clear that it objected to renegotiating the deal (and then Chinese provocation gave him more pause), Hatoyama had realized that reopening the negotiation had been a mistake (p. 143).”
It is not true that the Chinese provocation make Hatoyma Yukio to retreat from his pledge regarding the Futenma case which has been the issue over two decades. When Hatoyama took the office in September 2009, he launched the idea of the “East Asian Community (EAC),” which the US did not like because the EAC is too leaning to China. Thus, the White House has repeatedly rejected to meet him (even Japan has requested many times) and forced him out the office. In addition, American media working with the US government had called Hatoyama as “rube” publicly when he did not get to meet President Obama at the UN meeting. This led the reputation of Hatoyama at home (to the low approval rate). The Social Democratic Party (SDP) did not bring down Hatoyama administration because both SDP and DPJ had the same platform regarding the Futenma in the 2009 election – moving the base off Okinawa. In fact, DPJ had overwhelmingly majority in both houses when Hatoyama was in office. However, Hatoyama lacked his leadership and strategy to deal with the Futenma case. What Hatoyama should do is: to ask the Diet to approve the Futenma case. Probably he will get enough politicians to support his idea (just as the government of the Philippine kicked out American from its home bases). Japan could kick Americans out from the Futenma, Okinawa. Probably, by then, Obama might have to pick the phone to call Hatoyama regarding the Futenma case.
(2) “In 2010, Tokyo provided $3.3 billion to Washington for everything from utilities on U.S. bases to the construction of new facilities on Guama. The majority of these funds fall under the category of “host-nation support,” although most Japanese derisively refer to them as “the sympathy budget”.… (p. 145).” It is true that we as Japanese taxpayers have paid everything for the American bases including garbage, construction, water, and others, except American soldiers’ salary. It sounds like the host-nation should support these costs. However, the fact of the matter is that many other nations including Germany do not pay everything like Japan for the American utilities on the bases. Japan has idiotic politicians who have been taken advantage of by the US; we as the Japanese taxpayers have been suckers for decades for American bases.
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