Relations between U.S. allies Japan and South Korea have descended to another low, fueled by issues of wartime history and the still-poisonous legacy of Japan’s harsh colonial rule over Korea from 1910 to 1945. The two countries’ leaders have not met since May 2012, and polls show that three times more Koreans view China favorably than Japan. A senior adviser to the Japanese prime minister recently suggested to me that the United States might no longer be given a free pass to use its bases in Japan to support South Korea in a war.
This dysfunctional relationship threatens to undermine U.S.… Seguir leyendo »
Japanese voters went to the polls on Sunday with one overriding aim — to bring an end to more than a half-century of nearly uninterrupted one-party conservative rule. The monumental victory handed to the opposition Democratic Party of Japan (DPJ) marks a quiet revolution in the politics of America’s most important Asian ally.
This is more than a simple shift in power. It ushers in a competitive, two-party democracy in which politicians and their constituents may finally have more say in shaping Japanese policy than bureaucrats and businessmen. Neither Japanese voters nor the DPJ seek radical change. They want to invigorate a sclerotic system that has been unable to respond to the multiple challenges of a global economic slowdown, an aging society and the rise of Japan’s long-time rival, China.… Seguir leyendo »