China and Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank: Japan Outfoxing Itself to Appease America
Kanako Itamae, Shuchun Zhang and Lee Jay Walker
Modern Tokyo Times
The government of Japan under Prime Minister Shinzo Abe appears to be outfoxing itself in order to appease America. This is clearly visible because the newly created Asian Infrastructure Bank (AIIB) is being cold shouldered by America and once more Japan succumbed to pressure from America – even if having internal doubts. After all, it seems most unlikely that Japan would have taken this decision if America had supported the AIIB from the outset. Indeed, when Japan was involved in talks about the AIIB it became known that America wasn’t pleased therefore the land of the rising sun is sadly outfoxing itself.
Irrespective if the China led AIIB is seen to be a financial rival to the Asian Development Bank and World Bank, political and economic elites in Japan should still have been open to participating. This applies to economic, geopolitical and political factors. Therefore, Japan is sadly sidestepping a very important economic institution whereby many nations throughout Asia will participate.
In other words, Japan is abiding by America once more despite this meaning a regional isolationist stance. Yet internationally the AIIB is clearly backed by major stakeholders including India, Germany and the Russian Federation. Also, fellow founding members including Australia, Germany, South Korea and the United Kingdom highlight the global attractiveness of the AIIB.
The BBC reports: “Most Asian countries and countries from the Middle East and Latin America have joined, with the launch of the Beijing-led bank being hailed as a diplomatic and strategic success for China…It is one of several institutions China has created to push its own economic agenda, largely driven by frustration over its lack of influence in the big global financial institutions such as the World Bank”
Authorized capital from the outset will be $50 billion and in time this will be increased to $100 billion. Of course, from China’s point of view major international economic institutions aren’t acknowledging the changing times given the importance of China in the modern world.
The Washington Times states “The U.S. and Japan will be the only two major industrial economies in the region not participating in the multilateral development bank, designed to help finance an estimated $1 trillion annually in new roads, bridges, dams and other public projects in the booming Asia-Pacific region. China and many private analysts argue that the funding need is not being met by the established organizations such as the World Bank and the Asian Development Bank.”
Nations like the United Kingdom support the rationale of China because it is abundantly clear that the economic global order is different compared to 20 to 30 years ago. This change noticeably applies to China because enormous economic advancements have occurred. Therefore, it appears that Japan is really outfoxing itself based on the whims of America because in the long-term the shunning of the AIIB will be detrimental for the land of the rising sun both in terms of economics and geopolitics.
Indeed, despite India having certain misgivings towards China based on geopolitical factors, it is clear that elites in this nation support the AIIB. However, Japan seems intent to put itself into the “Washington straightjacket.”
In a past article by Modern Tokyo Times it was stated “America had understood that Japan would decline from joining the AIIB but a report by the Financial Times doubts this assessment. Since then, according to several sources, Washington is making it clear to Tokyo that America questions the viability of the AIIB based on several factors. However, the economic and loan issues related to the AIIB appears not to be the real reason. Instead, elites in Washington are more concerned about geopolitical factors. Therefore, Japan needs to re-think its stance and make a firm decision based on the interests of the land of the rising sun.”
Sadly, Japan is taking one step backwards once more based on the whims of America. In other words, Japan is isolating itself based on flimsy factors related to the geopolitical intrigues of America and this isn’t good enough. Therefore, it is hoped in time that Japan will reconsider and support the AIIB based on economic and geopolitical factors.
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