Wednesday, November 03, 2010

When Japan's Diplomacy Collides with Japan Inc !

How to define the key political risk limit?

There was a time when Japan diplomacy was only protecting business.

This is over, and Japanese business leaders are worried about China Japan and Russia Japan territorial disputes added to the USA Japan spat on Okinawa. But it is the Russian Prime Minister Medvedev's visit to the Northern Islands which led the Japanese business world into a succession of painful torments. "La goutte qui a fait déborder le vase," as we say in French language.

Enough is enough, media counter attack, quote: "The ongoing cooperation in development of energy sources between Japan and Russia has been made possible as it benefits both sides. I don't want (the current political situation) to affect it." Masamitsu Sakurai is the Chairman of the powerful Japan Association of Corporate Executives Keizai Doyukai after Medvedev visited Kunashiri island, one of four Russian-held northern islands off Hokkaido, claimed by Japan.

"The deterioration in relations with Russia and China can be traced back to strained relations with Washington over the relocation of the U.S. Marine Corps' Futenma Air Station in Okinawa Prefecture... Behind Japan's troubled diplomacy is the DPJ led government's casual manner in dealing with the Japan-U.S. alliance, the linchpin of Japan's diplomacy," the Yomiuri Shimbun commented in a toxic editorial titled: Govt's immature diplomacy again at fault / DPJ's inconsistent approach to Japan-U.S. alliance leads to impasse with Beijing and Moscow. Here

And for others in the media, the Japan press weekly, it's not over and pressure is to increase locally but also between USA and Japan on the Futenma relocation issue: "The Democratic Party of Japan is showing party disunity over Okinawa Prefectural governor’s election to be announced on November 11 and polled on 28."

Inside the DPJ, it is difficult to seek coordination between the central DPJ, which refuses to support or recommend a candidate who opposes the government policy of building a new base at Henoko in Nago City, and the DPJ Okinawa chapter opposing the relocation of the Futenma base within the prefecture.

Tougher is the Asahi Shimbun of today who summarizes current Kan' administration in a formula: "Lack of vision defines Kan's diplomacy!" With the APEC summit approaching: "Even if a Kan-Medvedev meeting is held, Japan would have few options. A high-ranking Foreign Ministry official said, "What kind of face should Japan put on in welcoming him? The prime minister will not be able to smile and seek out a handshake."

But there is worst, the way the bureaucracy plays the DPJ of Mr Kan nowadays. Who in particular? The Finance ministry and this is not to entertain the very strict Japanese business community.

To be continued.

Sources: Yomiuri, Asahi, Kyodo, Japan press weekly, Reporter's Notes

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