The first was an interview with US Japan hand Michael Green, focused on the “comfort women” resolution, the title of which summarizes the interview fairly well: “Leave ‘comfort women’ to the historians.” The points made by Green are more or less the same points I made in two previous posts on the congressional resolution. He argues, “The US Congress’s involvement in this issue is a big mistake. In particular, for the Committee on Foreign Affairs there is a pileup of problems that should be dealt with, like North Korea’s human rights violations and the challenge of a rising China.” He also attributed Representative Honda’s eagerness to push for this resolution to Koreans resident in California, as well as to the entanglement of North Korea-sponsored anti-Japanese and anti-American NGOs.
Published on the same page is an article discussing the outline of contemporary US-Japan-China strategic triangle, with reference to the new Armitage-Nye Report. I mention the article because I found an interesting phrase contained within: “Kim Jong Hill [キム・ジョン・ヒル].” The “Hill” referred to is, of course, Christopher Hill, US assistant secretary of state and representative at the six-party talks. This is the first use I’ve seen of such a phrase in English or Japanese, and a quick Google search revealed nothing. It certainly made me laugh, but there’s a bit of truth in the quip.
In some ways, Hill — and the agreement he helped forge in Beijing — may be as indirectly harmful to Japan’s interests as Kim is directly harmful, because the six-party agreement, essentially made between the US and China over Japan’s head, forces Japan to choose between taking a stand on principle and isolating itself, or assenting to an agreement that does little to secure its interests. Of course, it’s not really fair for Japan to blame Hill or the US — the Bush administration is simply looking out for what it perceives to be US national interests.
Japan has no one to blame for its less-than-ideal decision except the Abe Cabinet, which has seemingly focused on the abductions issue to the exclusion of all else.