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HOME  > Past issues  > 2020 November 4 - 10  > Japan should seek to build relationship on equal footing with next US administration
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2020 November 4 - 10 [POLITICS]

Japan should seek to build relationship on equal footing with next US administration

November 8, 2020

Akahata ‘current’ column

The United States has a very unique system of electing the president under which a close race is now unfolding. Each state has a designated number of electors. A presidential candidate who receives more votes than his/her rivals in a particular state will get all the electors in that state even if the margin is one vote. And if this candidate secures a majority in the electoral votes, he/she will win the presidential election. This system was introduced in 1787 when the U.S. Constitution was established. With communication and transportation systems still being poor at that time, the system was designed to choose the head of the country through selecting representatives of states.

In elections today, news media usually announce the projected winners within a few hours after voting stations close based on results of opinion polls and exit polls. Such announcements can be shared across the world almost immediately. The U.S. election system, however, has remained unchanged for more than 200 years. This is a mystery.

The U.S. presidential election this year turned out to be a very close contest. Early election returns suggest that Democratic challenger Joe Biden will defeat Republican incumbent Donald Trump, but the Trump campaign intends to start court battles to demand recounts.

The results of the U.S. presidential election are not solely a domestic issue. The Japanese government is paying close attention as its economic, foreign, and security policies heavily depend on the U.S. government’s policy direction.

However, whoever wins the election, U.S.-China tensions will most likely increase and Japan will be urged to shoulder a heavier military burden for the U.S. When Trump was elected president four years ago, the then Prime Minister Abe Shinzo wasted no time in paying a visit to Trump. Japan should stop taking such a submissive attitude and stop acting as an agent for Washington. It is time for Japan to become a country which can propose to the U.S. ideas on how to promote peace in northeast Asia.

Past related articles:
> PM Abe flatters Trump in face-to-face talks [November 21, 2016]
> Trump’s victory in US presidential election, high time to end Japan’s subservience to US [November 10, 2016]
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