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HOME  > Past issues  > 2011 September 7 - 13  > No need to join in East Asian community: Noda
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2011 September 7 - 13 TOP3 [POLITICS]

No need to join in East Asian community: Noda

September 11, 2011
“At the moment, there is no need to set out a vision for an East Asian community.” This is what Prime Minister Noda Yoshihiko said in an article he wrote for the monthly magazine “Voice,” published on September 10.

“The axis (of diplomacy) is Japan-U.S. relations without doubt,” stressed Noda in the article, identifying the basic diplomatic policy of the new cabinet he leads.

Noda has always been an advocate of a stronger relationship with the United States.

In November 2008, the Matsushita Institute of Government and Management’s “Japan-US Rising Leaders Project” issued a report titled, “A Critical Moment for the Japan-US Alliance.” Matsushita graduates Noda and Maehara Seiji, policy chief of the Democratic Party of Japan, were both involved in the publication.

The report said, “[M]any US observers see the movement toward an ‘East Asian community’ as an attempt to exclude the United States from the region… [I]t is possible that China may see this as a long-term goal of community-building.”

“There is no doubt that trading in the ‘certainty’ provided by the ‘Japan-US community’ for the uncertainty of an as yet undefined East Asia community would be a very risky choice for Japan”, it concluded.

However, the DPJ initially had an opposite policy right after the 2009 change of power. By calling for an East Asian Community and a Japan-U.S. relationship on an equal footing, former Prime Minister Hatoyama Yukio was trying to present to the public his party’s policy difference from the Liberal Democratic Party.

Noda’s article shows that the DPJ has thrown away the diplomatic ideal it used to call for and completely returned to an absolute dependence on the Japan-U.S. alliance, a return to the old LDP-style policy.

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