Friday, September 11, 2009

Another country questioning its close ties to the US...

... and it's a biggie:
A split is emerging between the United States and Japan over the new Tokyo government's anti-globalisation rhetoric and its threats to end a refueling agreement for US ships in support of the war in Afghanistan.

Yukio Hatoyama, the leader of the Democratic Party of Japan, has caused alarm in Washington after publishing an article blaming the US for the ills of capitalism, the global economy and "the destruction of human dignity".

He also intends to examine an agreement that permits US warships to dock at Japanese ports, in violation of the nation's non-nuclear principles. Mr Hatoyama says he will also look again at the $6 billion cost faced by Japan to transfer thousands of US troops from their base in Okinawa to the Pacific island of Guam amid a wide-ranging review of the American military presence on Japanese soil.

His election campaign promised a more "independent" foreign policy from Washington and closer relations with Asian neighbours, including China. On Thursday, he repeated his intention to defy the US and end the Maritime Self-Defence Force's resupply mission in the Indian Ocean.

From here, via Mega in this iTulip thread. It'll be interesting to see how this goes; the Yanks probably won't let go of those docking privileges easily. Gwynne Dyer discusses the victory of Mr. Hatoyama and the DPJ in this article, and thinks they'll face an uphill battle bringing about permanent changes in the country. Time will tell.

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