The UK evacuated Japanese Embassy staff from Kabul: Usual reliance on others
Sawako Utsumi and Lee Jay Walker
Modern Tokyo Times
The government of Japan seems to lack a sense of priority when urgent decisions are needed. Indeed, in areas of national security, the government of Japan relies heavily on the armed forces of America. Therefore, when Japanese Embassy staff needed to be evacuated because of chaotic events in Kabul, the British helped Japan by airlifting them out.
Ironically, the ruling Liberal Democratic Party (LDP) panders to petty nationalism concerning the Yasukuni Shrine and anti-China rhetoric when the time suits. However, when push comes to shove, Japan relies on the armed forces of America geopolitically.
During the ensuing chaos of Afghanistan, the British helped Japan by evacuating Japanese Embassy staff out of Kabul. Hence, once more, Japan relies on others despite being a G-7 nation.
Last week, Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga said, “Securing the safety of Japanese citizens is our top priority, and we will closely cooperate with relevant countries including the United States with our national interests in mind.”
In the last twenty years, Japan provided roughly $7 billion in reconstruction aid to Afghanistan – and other types of economic assistance – despite major internal economic problems. However, helping America by stealth, after several US military misadventures (Afghanistan, Iraq, Libya, and others), still doesn’t provide Japan with a voice despite providing economic support on the ground.
Instead, America usually makes unilateral decisions outside of the opinions of Japan. This applies to Afghanistan, the Korean Peninsula, and other important geopolitical events. Therefore, this money often achieves little in the long-term, apart from adding to the enormous national debt of Japan.
Nations often support each other in times of need. However, if Japan seeks to play a bigger role internationally, it is time for forward-planning and greater flexibility.
If not, Japan’s reliance on other nations will continue to occur during periods of heightened dangers. Hence, Japan either needs to reduce its lofty international ambitions – or finally respond like a G-7 nation.
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