In other words, Mr. Fukuda is making it explicitly clear that Japan is not prepared to share Washington’s global security policy. Instead, “I believe the heaviest responsibility for Japan is to see to it that there is stability and prosperity in Asia.”
So it seems that Mr. Ozawa and the DPJ are not alone in being discontent with the US-Japan relationship, even as Mr. Fukuda reassures Washington that the alliance remains essential to Japan’s foreign policy. (Indeed, this week the allies will break out that favorite word from the 1990s — “affirm” — to demonstrate the importance of the alliance.)
I hope — but doubt — that Washington will view Japanese discontent as an opportunity to strengthen the relationship, not as either grounds for panic or grounds for ignoring Japan and focusing on China (as some seem tempted to do).