Monday, April 28, 2014

Reuters Columnist on Obama's Promise to Defend Japan in Territorial Disputes: "Creating False Expectations"

Another bogus "red line", I suppose.

Reuters' columnist Anatole Kaletsky's take on Obama's promise to defend Japan militarily against China over Senkaku Islands (that's how it is understood in Japan) is that the US president created false expectation he has no intention of actually fulfilling.

I see. So indeed China is Russia, and Ukraine is Japan, as Reuters Japan's article compared the other day (see my post on April 24, 2014 for the quote from the article).

From Reuters (4/24/2014; emphasis is mine):

Abe’s disturbing lack of focus

President Barack Obama’s trip to Asia this week has focused mostly on Japan’s territorial disputes with China. On this issue, Obama seems to be repeating the same mistakes he made in Ukraine.

By creating false expectations of U.S. support for the Japanese position, the president is encouraging Japan to escalate its belligerent rhetoric. That, in turn, makes Chinese military action to seize the disputed islands more likely. Everyone knows that there is no chance of the United States going to war with China to defend Japan’s claim to four uninhabited lumps of rock.

Luckily, a military confrontation in the East China Sea remains highly unlikely because the Beijing government’s top priority is economic and financial reform. Unfortunately, this seems less true of Japan.

Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s attention seems to have shifted from economics to diplomacy and military matters — and financial markets have started to notice this disturbing change of focus. The clearest evidence can be seen in the relative performance of the Japanese stock market.

...The second reason for the Abe government’s new-found tolerance for an economic slowdown is directly connected to the rise of China. When Abe was elected in late 2012, his determination to revive the Japanese economy was significantly motivated by fears about China.

The worry was not that China had overtaken Japan as the world’s second-biggest economy and would eventually overtake the United States’ — even the most ardent Japanese nationalists see both these trends as inevitable. More troubling was growing evidence that China’s economic might was shifting the balance of interest in Washington from the traditional postwar friendship with Japan to cultivating better relations with China.

Given Japan’s dependence on U.S. military power, the shift of U.S. attention to China was alarming. Particularly to a fervent nationalist such as Abe, who has always cared passionately about winning Japan’s territorial disputes and rehabilitating its wartime reputation.

But with Obama’s words, the United States has now shown its willingness to antagonize China by promising to defend Japan unconditionally in any territorial disputes. These promises will almost certainly prove false in the event of a genuine military confrontation. But for the moment, they seem to have reassured Japanese politicians that Washington will continue to pay attention to Japan — even if it slides back into economic irrelevance.

(Full article at the link)

Japan's Nikkei Shinbun's article on April 29, 2014 by Nikkei's Washington Bureau is right on, which surprises me that they actually get it.

From Nikkei Shinbun (4/29/2014; part):

尖閣に日米安保適用 オバマ大統領の本心

Senkaku under US-Japan Security Treaty - President Obama's true intension


It would be an easy task, if he could do a favor to Japan with words only and receive a substantive gain in Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) in return. It makes one wonder, given Mr. Obama's words and deeds without gravity as symbolized (represented) by his handling of Syria.

Mr. Obama was all ready to go to war with Syria (backed by nuclear Russia) with youtube videos as evidence. Who needs gravity in this day and age?


Anonymous said...

Reuters: "Japan — .. into economic irrelevance"

Rather than A Game of Thrones, A Game of Looters and Their Insults

Suggestion: to avoid that irrelevance stop denying war atrocities and concomitantly ensuring continuation of warring upon your own people, and yes continue to recognize the TPP as an Insult.

Mr. Magoo as military adventurist insurgent trainer -- somebody MUST be kidding!

Games of dysfunction that could only arise from Ivy League Dens of Sterility and their European counterparts.

Anonymous said...

Japan has a long history of apologizing for war crimes and atrocities.

Anonymous said...

"Japan has a long history .. "

I'm sure. And perhaps an equally long history of undoing those apologies systematically?

Give the rest of the world a break, ye of Far Eastern Asia. What exactly is it about each other you people find so enduringly worthy of insult?

Anonymous said...

Care for some WIPP euphemisms??

"DOE has also buried more concentrated plutonium wastes in WIPP, by blending them down to less than 10 percent plutonium with a mysterious substance called “termination of safeguards material” or, more colloquially, “stardust.”

"termination of safeguards", not quite sure which way that euphemism is headed, right?

Somehow that "termination" stuff reminds me of EPA's actual planning for when frackers literally bore thru a nuke waste repository at the WIPP.

Can't be made up!

Anonymous said...

ANOTHER euphemistic Outrage ..

TEPCO to cooperate with Britain's Sellafield [The Grand Dumper of Dumping]

Anonymous said...

It was a gathering of "pickle liquors" [LITERALLY]. Whatever !?!


" .. on the nation's nuclear future frequently references the Waste Isolation Pilot Plant and that project's close ties to the community,"
"How appropriate, then, that a high-caliber summit take place in Carlsbad, the birthplace of the model for community consent."

WIPP: sludges, pickles, liquors: the "fukstik" operation

The State of New Mexico, where the people, by consent, DEMAND! to be fukked-up by nuclear materials.


Anonymous said...

Note that "fukstik" is employed .. at DoE,

"In March, 2013, the state Environment Department approved letting the Department of Energy only test containers “as needed.”

“In 2013, all of the real inspections of the containers at all the generating sites were stopped,” Don Hancock, director of the Nuclear Waste Safety program and an administrator at the Southwest Research and Information Center in Albuquerque, said recently. “So almost for the last year, there hasn’t been a requirement for shipments to WIPP to have more than paperwork for the containers.”

The Environment Department said at the time that the change did not weaken safety requirements for the containers."

Anonymous said...

Japan is systematically undoing apologies? I don't even know what that means. Political jockeying with your neighbors and rivals is hardly a "far east asian" phenomenon.Maybe the west could try leading by example, and learn to get along with its nemeses?

Anonymous said...

"Japan is systematically undoing apologies?" Yes. Issuing some sort of verbal exudation for the moment only, with full intention of undoing the exuding in the next available moment. And yes, certainly not limited to the Far East, only.

"Maybe the west could try leading by example, and learn to get along with its nemeses?" Now that is like a bolt-from-the-blue, of Ignorance, that is.
The only nemesis at play on the international stage is each nation's so-called "Intelligence" agencies performing its nemesis-function upon its own nation's people.

So let's return your hand of cards to the table surface: same as only the befuddled-with-a-will could not have seen that Japan's codes were broken in the 2nd world war, only the befuddled would believe that the world's people do not identify the "nemeses" accurately, and daily.

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