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    Japan, US reaffirm security partnership plot to take over world

    This was the lead story on yesterday’s print edition of the morning Nikkei: “US and Japan agree on strategic goals for joint measures against terrorist threats to their regions.” The result of this meeting (in Washington last week) isn’t a surprise, or anything. There was, obviously, lots of hot air about peaceful solutions to problems in Korea and Taiwan and getting the DPRK to return to 6-party talks. Not that those things aren’t important, but general statements that democratization is a good thing that the world could use more of aren’t exactly revelatory. Two items that approached substantiveness:


    • acceleration of talks related to the roles of the Japan SDF and US Armed Forces, and a reevaluation of the structuring of US forces deployed in Japan

    • a strengthening of cooperation on missile defense





    Attendees included Condoleezza Rice, Donald Rumsfeld, Japanese Minister of Foreign Affairs Nobutaka Machimura, and Japanese Defense Agency Chief Yoshinori Ono. Their unsurprising conclusion was that poor sources of information (the Japanese use 不透明性, which literally refers to “opacity” or “lack of transparency”) and instability made the DPRK and the Strait of Formosa the places to watch.



    If you’re in Japan, you might have seen the subtitled broadcasts from North Korean state television sputtering that recent changes in Japan’s defense policy are a cover for a plotted full-scale invasion. There are plenty of long-standing animosities to go around in this region, and the DPRK milks every one of them regularly–one of its favorites, of course, being the understandable lingering Korean resentment over the Japanese occupation. Just to make sure the other big East Asian player isn’t left out, we have the PRC trying to get the DPRK to return to the 6-party talks it huffily left last week. In the midst of all this, Japan knows it needs its partnership with the US, and as a proud American who loves Japan, I’m glad the ties are only getting stronger.


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