Japan's Elections, And Their Ramifications

by Pejman Yousefzadeh on August 31, 2009

A New Ledger forum I was privileged to take part in. As one can tell, I am more sanguine about the elections than are some of the other participants, but I suppose it is worth noting that the Obama Administration can easily make an enemy out of Japan if it falls into the trap of thinking that the only important country in Asia these days is China. To be sure, Sino-American relations are a very important topic, given China’s aspirations to become a great power, but our relationship with Japan has been very important, historically, and active American diplomacy will be needed to ensure that the Japanese do not, in fact, find it to be in their interests to turn away from the United States. All of that having been written, I continue to believe that much more of the status quo will be maintained when it comes to Japanese-American relations than people think; the Dov Zakheim article I cited in the forum is very persuasive on that point.

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