Monday, June 14, 2010

Karel van Wolferen: New U.S. military base construction at Henoko "not implementable"

In an interview with The Diplomat, Karel van Wolferen said that Washington unrealistically wants to go back to the days when the LDP rubber-stamped U.S. demands upon Tokyo. The Japan commentator goes on to say that proposed U.S. military expansion in Okinawa is not implementable:
Washington wants an administration like they had before, that will do what they say. Although of course the Liberal Democratic Party wasn’t doing that—they had a way of shoving it ahead of them. The LDP had been postponing this whole base plan for six years and they were going to postpone it further.

Why? Because it’s not implementable. That’s a very basic point, which the Tokyo-based media haven’t been sufficiently pushing because they haven’t been paying attention to Okinawa...

The most important thing to remember is that the LDP would not have carried out the Henoko relocation plan, because you can’t carry it out. It’s impossible. It also means that Naoto Kan’s cabinet could also be torpedoed by Washington. And it may well happen. Because Japan is not an ally of the United States—Japan is a protectorate.
He also notes that:
Twenty or 30 years ago there were quite a few American correspondents in Tokyo who had a pretty good historical background on the relationship, and they’d have put all this in perspective.

But today, the American media gets what they write about this from informants in Washington.

There are a couple of people in Tokyo, but they don’t bring the same kind of depth and understanding to it. Which means the story becomes the story that Washington wants people to see and read. And if you were the government in Washington, you’d want it to be like that. So in other words, there’s no countervailing interpretation of what’s going in Japan to what is coming out of Washington.

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