Incoming Tokyo government threatens split with US
Terlegraph U.K. Complete Article Link
A split is emerging between the United States and Japan over the new Tokyo government’s anti-globalisation rhetoric and its threats to end a refueling agreement for US ships in support of the war in Afghanistan.
Yukio Hatoyama, the leader of the Democratic Party of Japan, has caused alarm in Washington after publishing an article blaming the US for the ills of capitalism, the global economy and “the destruction of human dignity”.
He also intends to examine an agreement that permits US warships to dock at Japanese ports, in violation of the nation’s non-nuclear principles. Mr Hatoyama says he will also look again at the $6 billion cost faced by Japan to transfer thousands of US troops from their base in Okinawa to the Pacific island of Guam amid a wide-ranging review of the American military presence on Japanese soil.
His election campaign promised a more “independent” foreign policy from Washington and closer relations with Asian neighbours, including China. On Thursday, he repeated his intention to defy the US and end the Maritime Self-Defence Force’s resupply mission in the Indian Ocean.
(bold emphasis added)
Time will tell if Japan actually makes radical changes, we’re all familiar with elected officials saying one thing while campaigning and then pursuing totally different polices. Never the less, the new DPJ leader has issued some very strong words against the U.S. – blaming the U.S. brand of capitalism for ills of the global economy and the destruction of human dignity.
The published article mentioned above appeared in the NYT entitled A New Path for Japan, it was a an abbreviated version of a paper written by Yukio Hatoyama. Here are some snippets:
How can we put an end to unrestrained market fundamentalism and financial capitalism, that are void of morals or moderation, in order to protect the finances and livelihoods of our citizens? That is the issue we are now facing.
In these times, we must return to the idea of fraternity — as in the French slogan “liberté, égalité, fraternité” — as a force for moderating the danger inherent within freedom.
Fraternity as I mean it can be described as a principle that aims to adjust to the excesses of the current globalized brand of capitalism and accommodate the local economic practices that have been fostered through our traditions.
The recent economic crisis resulted from a way of thinking based on the idea that American-style free-market economics represents a universal and ideal economic order, and that all countries should modify the traditions and regulations governing their economies in line with global (or rather American) standards.
The economic order in any country is built up over long years and reflects the influence of traditions, habits and national lifestyles. But globalism has progressed without any regard for non-economic values, or for environmental issues or problems of resource restriction.
If we look back on the changes in Japanese society since the end of the Cold War, I believe it is no exaggeration to say that the global economy has damaged traditional economic activities and destroyed local communities.
In terms of market theory, people are simply personnel expenses. But in the real world people support the fabric of the local community and are the physical embodiment of its lifestyle, traditions and culture. An individual gains respect as a person by acquiring a job and a role within the local community and being able to maintain his family’s livelihood.
Under the principle of fraternity, we would not implement policies that leave areas relating to human lives and safety — such as agriculture, the environment and medicine — to the mercy of globalism.
The financial crisis has suggested to many that the era of U.S. unilateralism may come to an end. It has also raised doubts about the permanence of the dollar as the key global currency.
Today, as the supranational political and economic philosophies of Marxism and globalism have, for better or for worse, stagnated, nationalism is once again starting to have a major influence in various countries.
I agree with this position and hope the idea catches on in other places, especially here in the U.S. Government should protect the jobs and commerce of the people against what is often called “globalization” or “free trade.” In the west we’ve berated Japan and China as being unfair trade partners because they had the audacity to implement trade/currency policies that ensured a trade surplus while building their own productive capabilities.
My opinion is that China, Japan and many Asian nations are growing more nationalistic while their their western counterparts move towards globalization. Maybe it’s because they have more common ethnic identities; or they may place greater value in their culture, morals and traditions.
The big problem in the west is that most nations allow their national trade policies to be determined by international entities. National interests give way to the broader governance – globalization. The only ones who benefit from globalization are the multinational corporations and the western banking cartel at the expense of the people and their sovereignty.
The island of Okinawa, which wasn’t even returned to Japanese administration until 1972, is heavily dominated by U.S. military bases.
Over the years, there have been some ugly incidents of violence and rape by U.S. soldiers, which the local authorities were helpless to prosecute.
Most Okinawans want the U.S. to leave. I want the U.S. to leave because its presence is anachronistic, costly and provocative in the region.
Try to imagine a fourth of the Hawaiian island of Oahu occupied by Japanese military bases, with Japanese soldiers conspicuously present in civilian areas. Even though Japan is a friendly country, this situation would be obnoxious and unacceptable to Americans.
The Philippines — small and weak compared to Japan — succeeded in booting the U.S. out of Subic Bay naval base in 1992. As a result, the Philippines is now a sovereign country. Whereas Japan remains an occupied country.
Isn’t 64 years of occupation enough? I mean, permanent occupation — just what is the agenda behind that? It’s a question we need to ask, because it applies to Europe too.
agreed. Furthermore, I’d feel just a little more comfortable with our many spending programs if we paid for them by dismantling some of our overseas empire. I believe we have military bases in 130 countries…I can’t imagine what it costs to maintain all of this on top of fighting two wars.
One of the things that Americans seem to think is that our military presence is welcome by our “friends”, after all, we are there to “protect” them. In many cases there is no doubt that U.S. bases help the “hosts” economy. The other side of the coin is that our military presence may dilute their sovereignty while drawing them into the growing competition between the west and China.
I don’t consider myself a senseless pacifist, but I believe we have 50,000 or so troops in Germany now. Are the Germans of today the people we need to be afraid of? How about Japan? Spain? And I try to think about how our nation would feel if Russia or China decided to put a bunch of ships in the Gulf of Mexico, let alone on our soil. What if even one of our allies – say Australia – deemed it appropriate to put military bases in America? Loss of sovereignty is correct!
There’s nothing wrong with cooperation and allies, but especially given the economic circumstances that we are in, I think at least some of this doesn’t make much sense. Perhaps our efforts should be more, uh, targeted rather than a global web. Undoubtedly there some countries or groups that take offense to this type of activity on our part…I only wish we understood that our impact is not 100% positive.