Following on this post of last month, I’ll give JPY500 to anyone who can tell me what this recent statement by the Yukio Hatoyama, Secretary General of the Democratic Party of Japan, means:
We want to move away from U.S. dependency to a more equal alliance… We are only looking for an equal relationship, which we believe the U.S. also prefers.
DPJ supporter Tobias Harris believes this is not an anti-US statement, and I think he’s probably right. He also thinks that the Obama administration will create a post-Clinton/Bush Japan alliance that is focused solely on joint security declarations. But then we had this gem from DPJ leader Ozawa
If Japan is prepared to take care on its own issues that are relevant to itself, then there is no need for the United States to forward deploy to such an extent in Japan.
Here also, we’ve got a quote that could have a dozen meanings. It was widely condemned by ruling LDP officials and even US diplomats, as it is believed to call for Japan to be more independent. But the same vague statement could also be seen as a conservative’s call for a less restrictive constitution regarding Japan’s limitations on having its own military. Which is it? And what would Ozawa and the DPJ actually do if their motley crew of socialists, right-wingers, and free market liberals actually came into power? The chances are increasingly likely that we’ll find out in a few short months.