Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe has concluded the long-awaited U.S. visit. Facing the seemingly deliberate low key arrangement by the U.S. and embarrassment brought by the “one-day trip” style visit, Abe had to announce loudly, "Japan is back." He hopes to mend Japan-U.S. relations damaged under the Yoshihiko Noda administration, and wants the U.S. to continue to provide strong backing for Japan.
The approval rating for Abe's cabinet has soared to 71 percent in over two months, making him the first Japanese prime minister who enjoyed a rise rather than decline in his approval rating after taking office. This has made Abe somewhat complacent. He has thus changed his neighbor-friendly stance, and begun to act tough with neighboring countries. He has made shocking remarks to distort facts, smear China, and incite confrontation between Japan and China, which has provoked China to lodge solemn representations. The Japanese government has also sent a senior official to attend a ceremony marking the Takeshima (known as Dokdo in South Korea) Day, further heightening the tensions between Japan and South Korea.
After angering neighboring countries, Japan has acted innocent and turned to the U.S. for help. It has dreamed of taking advantage of America's return to the Asia-Pacific region to lead the region.
Much to Abe's disappointment, the U.S. has almost ignored his visit, canceled the joint press conference, and kept "silent" on the Diaoyu Islands issue.
Japan is asking for trouble. It is just a pawn of the U.S. in the U.S.-dominated alliance. During the visit, Abe delivered a speech saying that Japan is not a tier-two country, and pledged to "bring back a strong Japan." Japan has not found its right position in the world. On the one hand, it does not seem to understand that the U.S., as the master, will never give its pawn an equal footing. On the other hand, it is reluctant to believe that its development depends on deeper integration with Asia.
As the world's economic center of gravity shifts eastward, the U.S. has launched "strategic rebalancing" toward the Asia-Pacific region. It is not that Abe does not understand this. He just chose to cooperate with Asian countries economically but act tough with them politically and hurt the feelings of the people of related countries. In his tough speech in the U.S., Abe reiterated Japan's sovereignty over the Diaoyu Islands, and said that Japan would not tolerate any challenge to its territorial sovereignty. "No one should ever doubt the robustness of the Japan-U.S. alliance," he added.
Abe really should wake up after the “one-day trip” style visit to the U.S.
Read the Chinese version at:安倍，该醒醒了; Source: People's Daily Overseas Edition; Author: Zhang Hong
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