Friday, April 29, 2005

Well, it looks like India’s going to get a security council seat.

Hot on the heels of Chinese premier Wen Jiabao’s visit to India, Japanese Prime Minister Koizumi showed up in New Delhi. India and Japan then issued a statement that they would support each other’s bids to become permanent members of the U.N. Security Council. As Reuters reports,

"They reiterated their support for each other's candidature, based on the firmly shared recognition that Japan and India are legitimate candidates for permanent membership in an expanded Security Council," the two sides said in a joint statement.

I assume that China, in order to keep from pushing India into Japan’s arms, will chime in and wholeheartedly support India’s candidacy.

As for Japan—ain’t gonna happen.

Am I the only one in America who is amazed that, with everything else on his plate, Prime Minister Koizumu is running around Asia trying to counter Chinese influence?

Well, I shouldn’t be.

Here’s an interesting pair of quotes from TimeAsia:

Koizumi's major legacy will likely be building Japan's influence across Asia and the rest of the world to a level commensurate with its economic might. Naturally, that campaign is generating intense friction with Beijing. "The dispute reflects the anxiety that both sides feel over China's role as a rising power in the region," says Philip Yang, professor of political science at National Taiwan University in Taipei. As this plays out, "we will see a lot more cool issues become hot."


Some of Tokyo's actions that might seem hamfisted—the timing of announcements, the decisions on when to escalate—are in fact highly deliberate, argues a Western diplomat in Tokyo. "The Japanese government is not looking at these issues in terms of next week or even next month," he explains. "They are looking 30 years ahead. They believe that if they back down on many of them now, their leverage and initiative will be lost forever."

For "Western diplomat", I read "some U.S. government hardliner plugged into--and promoting--the whole 'contain China' strategy".

When you consider that Japan has either been selected as, or volunteered to be, our proxy in Asia in confronting China—and Tokyo (and probably Washington) feels we have to move quickly before China gets too strong, you get an idea how the Chinese are probably freaking out--and how quickly things could turn "hot".