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Strategic dependency on US still Japan's Achilles' heel

(Global Times)

08:12, September 27, 2011


Illustration: Liu Rui

Last summer, when a Japanese friend came for a visit, we had a long discussion about Japan. I related my impression of the country and what I see as its merits and shortcomings. But my main argument was that Japan needs to put in more effort in strategic planning.

For instance, Japanese cars had a large share of the high-end auto market in the 80s. In Beijing, brands such as Toyota and Nissan were generally considered luxury cars. Japanese cars were usually associated with being functional, reliable, and fuel-efficient, which were qualities Chinese buyers particularly valued at that time.

Upon the request of Beijing, while I was working for the Chinese Embassy in Japan, I tried to get in touch with some key players in the auto industry to negotiate the possibility of joint ventures. But due to their lack of interest, all the talks we had proved unfruitful. I remember distinctly that when I was in the process of communicating with Nissan, who seemed diplomatic and responsive, they were only willing to commit to import-export deals, not the production and design arrangements we were more interested in.

In the end, Chinese State-owned enterprises ended up striking deals with European and US companies. More strategically insightful, European and American companies showed great enthusiasm for the Chinese market. Today they have benefitted greatly as a result. Japanese companies did not realize their miscalculation until the Chinese market became largely dominated by European and US brands, but it was already too late. The lack of vision and lack of confidence in the Chinese market cost the Japanese auto industry a great deal, but they seem to have learned little.

I recently came across a news article on the closing of a Nissan production plant; I can’t help thinking about the business venture I proposed two decades ago. If only they had been more prudent in decision-making and thought ahead before cutting off the deal, it could have eventually been a win-win situation. And maybe, by saving the auto industry it might also have saved the country from the post-bubble recession.

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Drake at 2011-09-27110.159.240.*
You need to stop using the word nukes so sparingly, Japan cannot encircle China, neither can the Philippines etc, but what is dangerous about the function of American bases in Okinawa is that it is completely under American control, so in essence Japan is still an occupied country, there"s a double edge sword to this policy, to keep Japanese military dependency and to monitor and deny them the rights to experiment WMDs as well by claiming to provide Japanese with nuclear deterrent, now that is probably a good thing though, a nuke armed Japan would become a threat not only to the region but to America themselves. The current scenario however is still destructive to Japan because over-dependency means Japan is akin to a hostage who loves and becomes too dependent on his master, Stockholm syndrome like which is why Japan uses the territorial issue to always test American resolve, and even attempts to destroy American credibility by questioning the Americans on why the disputed islands are not covered under mutual security etc, Japan is probably trying to weaken American dependency yet at the same time afraid of the repercussions that America would do to them economically and leaving them isolated to face off with Korea, China and Russia and even America alone, a totally complex and fine balancing scenario but if Japan can settle all disputed territories with her neighbors and win the trust of her neighbors then it is time they can end their dependency on America, but as long as enmity still persist in the region, no chance a all for that happening, and Japan must continue to play the same game as usual.
helen at 2011-09-27141.0.8.*
In this age of nuclear weapons ascendancy and advanced missiles delivery systems, Japan militarism is like a criminally sinful senile person walking the corridors of yesterday"s dreams. Never again can Japan inflict extreme atrocities and invasion of Asian nations. Asian peoples have changed since both the world wars and they are now prepared and better equipped to deal with any more mischiefs from the Japanese government, their military and their elites.Like the UK, Japan only hopes to piggyback US Global Tyranny to show some semblance of power. A lost cause. The only sensible course of action for Japan is to go NEUTRAL to regain some respect. But then again with the Japanese elites denying that they are Asians and yearn to become political "Whites", this process is not attainable in the near future.The United States will make sure that Japan has no other course of action except to become an integral part and parcel of US efforts to encircle militarily both Russia and China. N Korea is their missing link and both the Japanese and the United States will work arduously for the demise of N Korea. It is very fortunate that N Korea is now a nuclear power and shall be able to nuke both Tokyo and continental US in the very near future.The continuing pro US moves by the Japanese government will only provide Japan with the honour of being nuked thrice in history, the first two - Nagasaki and Hiroshima being nuked by the United States. Tokyo will be the third site to be nuked by .....
Kouduki Akira at 2011-09-27124.210.129.*
It is right to say that Japan is too dependent on the U.S. specifically in terms of diplomacy and national security and specifically again had been under administrations of LDP. That was seen quite shamelessly in the U.N.’s general assembly when Premier Koizumi at that time lost no time to express his support of U.S. invasion to Afghanistan and Iraq, subsequently sending its self defence forces against its constitution which had banned their dispatch to a war zone with arms. The tendency still holds true under present administration with its diplomatic emphasis put more on the U.S. than Asian countries.
Kouduki Akira at 2011-09-27124.210.129.*
It is right to say that Japan is too dependent on the U.S. specifically in terms of diplomacy and national security and specifically again had been under administrations of LDP. That was seen quite shamelessly in the U.N.’s general assembly when Premier Koizumi at that time lost no time to express his support of U.S. invasion to Afghanistan and Iraq, subsequently sending its self defence forces against its constitution which had banned their dispatch to a war zone with arms. The tendency still holds true under present administration with its diplomatic emphasis put more on the U.S. than Asian countries.
  

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