Arthur Waldron has some concerns about a future Democratic administration’s foreign policy. Well, to be precise, it’s his Japanese friends, who are quite happy Hillary Clinton lost in Iowa.
These geographical, economic, and political facts mean that in Asia the most important relationship for Washington must be with Japan. Lip service is regularly paid to this concept. In reality, however, as Mrs. Clinton’s essay demonstrates, Washington gives relatively low priority to consultation with Japan and attention to Japanese issues, particularly when compared to China.
Hillary mentions Japan only once, near the end of her piece, observing: “We must find additional ways for Australia, India, Japan, and the United States to cooperate on issues of mutual concern, including combating terrorism, cooperating on global climate control, protecting global energy supplies, and deepening global economic development.” That is all.
So my Japanese friends may be forgiven if they feel some relief at the primary defeat of a candidate who so conspicuously ignored their country. But they will continue to worry (as I will too) for Hillary’s views are sadly typical of elite American foreign policy thinking today.
Will someone else be better? That’s far from clear. A quick Google search of keywords “Barack Obama” and “Japan” suggested that, on this issue, Iowa’s winner has spoken out so far only about the superior gas mileages of Japanese made automobiles.
I would ask readers to help allay my fears about a Democratic administration’s Asia foreign policy.