I believe this is a good moment for some strategic appeasement on the US's side. While shuttering the Okinawa base would be overkill, some concessions to show that the US accepts the full equality of the partnership. (One can make a case that the US-Japanese alliance is in no way equal, but even if one accepts that, it is no way to keep an alliance.) Honestly, Japan is a stronger ally than many of the newer NATO allies, and deserves a position that recognizes that, and the current institutions in place don't seem to do that. Some small moves that way will go a long way toward fixing the current rift.
11 November 2009
It is sad to see some talking about an end to the "special relationship" with Japan. As the strongest, longest democracy in East Asia, this relationship has helped to maintain stability and prosperity for both sides for 50 years now. In particular, I hope that Obama can get things back on track, particularly after some impolitic moves by SecDef Gates.
Posted by Frosty at 11.11.09