Sheila A. Smith

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The historic political transition underway in Tokyo is rattling Washington and has produced a puzzling rigidity in an administration known for its capacity for reaching out to the world. President Obama's visit to Asia offers a much-needed opportunity to calm and energize the U.S.-Japan relationship.

In Tokyo, the president should aim at restoring faith in Washington's ability to adjust to Japan's new politics. Old habits of lecturing Tokyo on its responsibilities must end.

For his part, the new Japanese prime minister, Yukio Hatoyama, needs to find policy solutions that address today's problems rather than yesterday's politics and make clear who is calling the shots.…  Seguir leyendo »