Japan needs pragmatism on Hong Kong issue: Geopolitics of Northeast Asia
Sawako Utsumi and Lee Jay Walker
Modern Tokyo Times
Prime Minister Shinzo Abe of Japan should focus on pragmatism and the geopolitical reality of Northeast Asia. Of course, the new Hong Kong security law is draconian. However, Japan must not be dragged into the dispute involving China and the United States – and other democratic nations opposed to events in Hong Kong.
China, North Korea, and the Russian Federation are all nuclear powers and belong to Northeast Asia. At the same time, America’s nuclear umbrella covers Japan. Thus any major convulsion involving nations is a real concern for Japan.
Territorial disputes continue to plague Northeast Asia. Indeed, for China, this also applies to the South China Sea that involves Brunei, Indonesia, Malaysia, the Philippines, and Vietnam.
Other notable issues include the Korean peninsula, China and Taiwan tensions, America’s foreign policy objectives, and Japan’s relationship with South Korea is currently negative. Hence, Abe understands that unlike distant nations seeking to embroil Japan into the Hong Kong crisis, the geopolitical reality for Japan is different.
In another article, the Modern Tokyo Times stated, “Hong Kong is very far from America, Australia, Canada, and the United Kingdom in the realm of geopolitics. Thus, while Japan is in the democratic camp and concerned by events in Hong Kong, it is important to take a more nuanced approach. After all, major convulsions in Hong Kong and Taiwan could have terrible repercussions for Japan.”
If you look at modern-day Japan then this nation is based on political continuity and limited protracted problems at home. Yet in recent times the divisions in America between both main parties are now unleashing internal convulsions. Thus endless impeachment issues, cultural differences involving conservatives to ultra-liberals, racial tensions, and a serious breakdown in law and order based on the Black Lives Matter movement are rocking America.
Similarly, China is continuing to crush Tibetan Buddhists and Muslims in Xinjiang based on the endless power concentration of the Chinese Communist Party (CCP). Likewise, under President Xi Jinping many Christian churches have been closed and Christian crosses taken down. Meanwhile, Xi seeks continuing power that Deng Xiaoping warned against. Therefore, Xi is the most ardent leader of the CCP for many decades, and his power projections for China are far and wide.
Overall, new measures in Hong Kong are draconian. Thus some people will seek to leave and move to the United Kingdom and other nations.
Yet, the economic and geopolitical angle – and containing territorial disputes – dictates that Japan must maintain a cordial relationship with China. Therefore, despite dismay at events unfolding in Hong Kong, Japan needs to stay in the shadows.
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