November 1, 2007

Japan’s support of U.S. led war in Afghanistan set to end

It is unfortunate that like here in Australia, we have an opposition using the nation’s involvement with America to appease those opposed to U.S. foreign policy ... an ultimately self-defeating conduct through an increasing propensity to engage anti Bush and anti American sentiments ...

It seems political aspirants - witness Kevin Rudd (Australia) and now Japan’s opposition parties - are practicing an ultimately self-defeating conduct through an increasing propensity to engage anti Bush and anti American sentiments within their national electorates essentially for political mileage purposes

For the past six (6) years, Japan has been using its Maritime Self-Defense Force for the re-fuelling of allied vessels and other logistical operations engaged in military operations in Afghanistan.

A valued role in the United States led war on terror turned to political drama in mid September with Prime Minister Shinzo Abe signaling an intention to resign if he lost a critical vote in relation to the continued support. The collaboration is set to end on November 1 when the existing mandate expires. Meanwhile, the Japanese opposition party has vowed to use its control of the upper house to block and moves to extend the mandate beyond this date.

The man who replaced Abe, Prime Minister Yasuo Fukuda has moved swiftly to introduce lower house legislation that would provide support for an additional twelve (12) months however, by arguing that the current mission violates the Japanese constitution (because they provide logistical support to vessels engaged in combat operations) and, that the act never gained a U.N. mandate, the opposition has remains defiant, that the support must cease.

Ending the support may harm Japan’s international reputation and exacerbates tensions with the U.S. coming in spite of pressure from the latter. US ambassador Thomas Schieffer led diplomats from other coalition countries, including Afghanistan, Britain and Pakistan, in a meeting at the Canadian embassy with about 70 ruling and opposition members of the parliament. Said Schieffer, "I hope that after whatever debate goes on … will accept the fact that this is an international undertaking and I hope that (it) will supported it in the end," adding, "We tried to answer whatever questions we could and provide as much information as we could, to emphasize how important Japan's contribution is to what we are doing in that part of the world,".

For all the effort it seems likely that by the time this post is published, Japan’s support will have ended.

Evidently, in Japan there has been a marked change in support for the U.S. led war on terror, with the percentage of people who expressed support having dropped to under 25% down from 61% in 2002.

It is unfortunate that like here in Australia, we have an opposition using the nation’s involvement with America to appease those opposed to U.S. foreign policy.

Granted that much of the rhetoric amounts to nothing more than political posturing, all the same, it undermines an important relationship where both the USA and Japan have a common interest in curbing the rise of China. With the latter now replacing Japan as a economic and military threat to the U.S. one would think that level heads would prevail; obviously not.

Update: AFP has just reported that Japan has ordered home its naval ships from the Indian ocean today ending for now, the six year mission and effectively halting the close US Ally's main role in the "war on terror" due to domestic opposition.

Meanwhile Australia voiced "concern" about Japan's move saying that defeating terrorism was a global responsibility. "Australia is concerned by the imminent cessation of Japan`s refuelling activities in support of coalition operations in Afghanistan," Foreign Minister Alexander Downer said in a statement.

Comments always appreciated...

9 comments:

WomanHonorThyself said...

great work my friend!.. both the USA and Japan have a common interest in curbing the rise of China.......no doubt!

Tapline said...

Wow! at least someone is on this,,,Ive heard nothing about this on the main news channels. This is what one would expect from friend with favored nation status. I think it's time for the uS to start to Hall in its horns and stop trying to police the world. It seems we are damned if we do and damned if we don't. I for one am tired of this crapola. Excellent post as usual....stay well....

American Interests said...

womanhthyself: Good to see your words here Angel...

Tapline: Thanks and I'll do my best to stay well. Funny how msm in the U.S. fails to address issues like these. News is market driven therefore your not hearing about this is indicative of viewer preferences. But don't worry it's much (no exactly actually) the same in Australia.

Karen said...

As stated above, I've read nothing of this either. Figures.

Very little is being made, of course, in the press that the people by the thousands now are returning to Baghdad, to their homes. Also that violence is so drastically cut in parts of the country where the surge is working. What will they all say when General Petraeus declares success?

American Interests said...

Karen: Therefore I am glad to be passing things on from here ... thanks for visiting!

heidianne jackson said...

"...practicing an ultimately self-defeating conduct through an increasing propensity to engage anti Bush and anti American sentiments within their national electorates essentially for political mileage purposes"

it just makes no sense, otto. these countries, australia included, cannot stand on its own without the stabilizing presence of the united states. my guess is that the msm in america is ignoring it, because they don't want to stir up anti-japanese sentiments. it's not in the msm's interest to have american's feeling ill towards the japanese - brings up all those patriotic stirrings we american's (rightly) employed during the 2nd world war...

American Interests said...

Heidianne: "cannot stand on its own without the stabilizing presence of the united states". Exactly my friend. You make a poerful point. Thanks as always...

Incognito said...

I have seen nothing about this either... surprising really, considering the msm loves this kind of thing.

That saddens me... the U.S. will be left holding the bag, with a few loyal friends..

American Interests said...

incog: It did not make much in the way of news. It is sad but typical of late. Hopefully the Japanese pull-out is only temporary.