Japan’s friends, kept at arm’s length

The Japan Times today has two op-eds that illustrate Japan's troublesome ties with the US, its ally, and South Korea, its wealthy, democratic neighbor and former colony.The first, by journalist Hanai Kiroku, calls for a US-Japan economic partnership agreement (EPA), to follow on the heels of the Japan-Australia EPA currently under negotiation. Given the scale …

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The Washington Post on Abe

The Washington Post published an editorial on Saturday criticizing Prime Minister Abe for his "double talk," pressing North Korea on abductions of Japanese citizens while denying the use of coercion by the Imperial Army in establishing "comfort women" stations.The conclusion:Mr. Abe may imagine that denying direct participation by the Japanese government in abductions may strengthen …

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Tales from the strategic triangle

General Peter Pace, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, is currently in China after a stop in Japan, during which he talked with Foreign Minister Aso -- and possibly Defense Minister Kyuma, as Steve Clemons wonders, following the rumors surrounding Vice President Cheney's visit -- about a range of technical issues related to alliance …

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Seoul speaks up — how about Washington?

The Jiji wire service carried two articles today that report on South Korean officials criticizing Japan for its focus on the abductions issue in the multilateral de-nuclearization talks.First, Yu Myong-hwan, South Korea's newly appointed ambassador to Japan, said at a press conference with Japanese journalists in Seoul that the resolving the nuclear issue must take …

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