Equality or Estrangement

For a half-century, the US, which wrote Japan’s postwar “peace” constitution, has pressed Japan to play a greater role in maintaining Asian and global stability. But now that Japan finally has a leader who agrees, the US is getting nervous.

TOKYO – Those whom the gods would destroy, they grant their wishes. Will that bit of ancient wisdom now hold for the United States and Japan?

For a half-century, the US, which wrote Japan’s postwar “peace” constitution, has pressed the Japanese to play a greater role in maintaining Asian and global stability. But now that Japan finally has a leader who agrees, the US is getting nervous, with Secretary of State John Kerry supposedly calling Japan under Prime Minister Shinzo Abe “unpredictable.”

These strains in the US-Japan relationship – surely the foundation stone of Asian stability – first became noticeable in December, when Abe visited the Yasukuni Shrine in Tokyo, which houses the “souls” of (among others) Class A war criminals from the Pacific War. The US has always criticized Japanese officials’ visits to the shrine, but through diplomatic channels. This time, America voiced its displeasure openly.

To continue reading, please log in or enter your email address.

To access our archive, please log in or register now and read two articles from our archive every month for free. For unlimited access to our archive, as well as to the unrivaled analysis of PS On Point, subscribe now.

required

By proceeding, you agree to our Terms of Service and Privacy Policy, which describes the personal data we collect and how we use it.

Log in

http://prosyn.org/INGUZg0;

Cookies and Privacy

We use cookies to improve your experience on our website. To find out more, read our updated cookie policy and privacy policy.