It's time for Japan to do reflection

Source
China Military
Editor
Huang Panyue
Time
2016-12-07

BEIJING, Dec. 7 (ChinaMil) -- In recent days, the situation of Japan's foreign policy seems to be a mess.

In the U.S. presidential election in 2016, Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe prematurely bet on the wrong side and had to rush to New York to have an audience with the U.S. President-elect Trump, attempting to win trust and support with his low profile.

And more importantly, as the Japanese media said, Abe tries to explain to Trump the importance of the US-Japan alliance with the intension that the next U.S. government will continue to promote the "Asia-Pacific rebalancing strategy" and save the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) Agreement, which has been on the brink of ruin.

Unexpectedly, as soon as Abe returned to Japan, Trump announced he would abolish the TPP Agreement on the first full day in office. It appears that Abe's efforts are in vain.

Besides, it is still a headache for Japan whether Trump will, just as he already said in his electoral speech, ask Japan to increase the sharing of the expenditure of the U.S. forces in Japan or not .

After Japan and Russia had agreed on the itinerary of Russian President Putin's recent visit to Japan, the Abe's government repeatedly released news of possible progress in the dispute of Northern Territories, which Russia calls the South Kuril Islands, and even promised a large-scale economic cooperation in exchange for Russia's concessions on the territorial issue.

But after meeting with Putin at the (Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation) APEC summit, Abe had to admit that the settlement of Northern Territories dispute is in trouble. On November 22, Russia announced its decision on the deployment of missiles in the South Kuril Islands, which undoubtedly means Japan's hope has came to nothing.

Philippines President Rodrigo Duterte chose China as the destination of his first state visit after taking office, and agreed to resolve the territorial and maritime rights and interests disputes between the two countries through negotiations.

The move marked a major breakthrough in the Sino-Philippine relations, but disappointed Japanese politicians. In Duttett's subsequent visit to Japan, Japanese politicians tried every means to draw Philippines over to them for fear of losing fulcrum of intervention in the South China Sea, which in turn would lead to the collapse of the "anti-China encirclement" based on the so-called "values alliance."

However, Duterte publicly stated on Nov. 17 that his country is willing to follow the footsteps of China and Russia. Such an outcome was unexpected for Japan.

As the saying goes, misfortunes never come single, also on the same day, Vietnamese Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc said "Vietnam has not had enough basis to submit the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) participation to the National Assembly," and in addition, the Vietnamese National Assembly has adopted the "Japanese nuclear power import amortization case", which dealt another blow to Japan.

Japan's successive diplomatic setbacks appear to be accidental, but in fact, it is logical. The core of Abe government's foreign policy is, by following the footsteps of the U.S. and joining the America's "Asia-Pacific rebalancing strategy" and TPP, to expand its own strength and then break the shackles of the post-war system, and finally to achieve the dream of leading the Asia-Pacific together with Uncle Sam.

To this end, Japan confronts China to show its loyalty to the U.S. and acts as the willing pawn of the U.S. to take the lead in weaving an encirclement to contain China. Japan's behaviors intensified regional conflicts, and disrupted the good momentum of regional peace and development.

Things and time change. Now the U.S. is beset with troubles at home and abroad and the American public chose the "US priority" Donald Trump instead of Hillary, who wants inherit Obama's political legacy. The dislocation of Japan's wishful thinking and real needs of the U.S. explains why Abe put his stakes on a wrong horse.

Russian occupation of the South Kuril Islands is the arrangement made after World War II. Russia has full vigilance against Japan's military expansion and its attempt to break through World War II system. Japan's own reluctance to make a profound reflection on war crimes is doomed to fail.

For the Philippines and other countries in the Asia-Pacific region, development is the key. Siding with Japan in the confrontation against China is clearly detrimental to the interests of these countries and therefore their national policy shift is entirely based on their national interests.

No one can fight against the trend of the world. A series of diplomatic defeats by Abe's government is the inevitable result of their erroneous foreign policy.

What the Japanese government should do is to go with the trend, face the call of the countries in the region and the Japanese people for peace, development and stability, cease to be regional troublemaker and stop its quickened advance on the path of political right deviation and re-militarization.

If Japan continues to attempt to go against the trend of the times and act as a troublemaker, then it will not only become a laughing stock in the world, but also lose everything.

 

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