Japan is hoping that America and China will take a more diplomatic stance
Sawako Utsumi and Lee Jay Walker
Modern Tokyo Times
The increasing stoking of the fire by America and China is worrying many in Japan. After all, the coronavirus (Covid19) crisis and economic convulsions are horrendous enough – so Japan doesn’t need more complex problems.
Thus the only current approach for Japan is to play honest brokers and hope for tensions to subside. Hence, Japan mustn’t get dragged into the Hong Kong spat between China and several Western nations. Similarly, issues surrounding human rights in China must be dealt with diplomatically – and not based on strong rhetoric.
Internally, America is extremely divided between two political parties that are miles apart. This is visible by endless rhetoric and propaganda in both directions – for neither the Democrats nor Republicans have clean hands. Meanwhile, hidden political undercurrents that seek to exploit the situation fuse issues of race and policing.
Suga Yoshihide, the Chief Cabinet Secretary of Japan, is hoping that America and China can step back from antagonizing each other. Thus he expressed the need for both nations to focus on stable relations. Especially given the ongoing coronavirus pandemic and the economic convulsions that are following.
Recent closures of the consulate of China in Houston and the tit-for-tat closure of America’s consulate in Chengdu, highlight the increasing belligerence in both directions. It might be valid that America had genuine concerns about intellectual property concerns – but it comes on top of endless besmirching of China.
It is hoped that a reset from the cycle of economic sanctions, political posturing, military issues in the South China Sea, and other important areas will emerge. If not, then Japan must sit it out until the course of distrust and propaganda relents.
Until then, Japan needs to focus on its geopolitical concerns – even if areas overlap – and abide by the quietist approach.
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