south korea, japan, china
  • The following from a pro-Japan participant at a recent high-level foreign affairs conference in Seoul:

    'Of consequence still to be determined, the nationalist-fed, frequently vicious historical fantasy views of Japan's PM Abe are a cancer eating away at virtually every level of Japanese, US, and S. Korean national strategic interest at precisely the wrong time.'

    This history problem is something those familiar with the Korean mentality have long been aware of. The new President Park has already shown her liking for China - learning the language, visiting the Chinese embassy rather than the US embassy first on her inauguration.

    South Korea-China trade and investment is booming

    A China-South Korean tieup directed against Japan would spell an end to all the current hawkish strategic plans for the region. It would force the US to de-embrace Tokyo under its current nationalistic leadership.

    Does anyone in Tokyo realise this?
  • Hello Professor Clark.

    In my view, I don't believe that current Japanese strategic plans are going to affect US - Japan - SK alliance. I am not sure if you read a rather interesting and profound article on CSIC (http://csis.org/files/publication/120810_Armitage_USJapanAlliance_Web.pdf) written by Joseph Nye & Richard Armitage regarding Japan's Article 9. When this article was published in last summer, no one in South Korea mentioned about this. Not a single media or think tank mentioned about this paper. Furthermore, current President Park is as hawkish as her predecessor.

    To remind you Professor Clark, the previous President Lee of South Korea tried to upgrade its military alliance with Japan secretly last year, but it failed because many people (whose political views are opposite of the previous and the current President's party - lets call this party X ) opposed it.
    When people publicly opposed it, pundits on medias (most of them are friendly to party X) and opinion makers attempted to persuade (but failed) people that strengthening its relationship with Japan to "counter" North Korea (read: China) is South Korea's national interest. While it is true that many pro - Japan participants may lament the Japanese's current short-sighted diplomacy, I do not think this will make any change at all...

    (Much of South Korean conglomerates' successes are due to technological and financial help from Japan. That fact is not lost on those oligarchies in South Korea.)

    Both Japan and South Korea are not "independent" countries (how could it be, when both of them are under US military influence - as Zbigniew Brzezinski quite openly called Japan as its "satrapy" and Germany as its "protectorate.")

    Curiously, what Washington is doing (i.e. encouraging Japan, South Korea, Vietnam, Philippines, India(trying, but not working due to many serious internal problems within India), etc. in Asia and many weaker and fragile countries in African continent (i.e Nigeria) to contain China) is reminiscent to what London did in setting up the World War I (i.e. secretly making a military alliance with Paris and Moscow).

    What China is doing is also reminiscent to what Berlin did in early 20th century (i.e. for Imperial Germany building a railroad from Berlin through Istanbul to Baghdad and for China secretly and cautiously building a Eurasian railroad from Beijing through Middle East and Moscow to Berlin and Paris).

    So I am more worried about whether people & pundits truly realize where we are heading in the future.

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