Japanese Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi Wednesday portrayed the Japan-US alliance as the foundation for better relations with China and South Korea. The remark, however, does not justify itself because of the current tense ties with other Asian countries.
After his meeting with US President George W. Bush, Koizumi spared no effort to laud the "most indispensable" friendship with its decades-old ally.
Bearing that notion in mind, Koizumi has taken pains to meet the demands of Washington -- from the assistance to the war in Afghanistan and to the dispatchment of troops to Iraq.
"The stronger the Japan-US relations, the easier to build good ties with China, South Korea and other Asian countries as well as the rest of the world," the premier said.
In contrast to the rosy relationship with the United States boasted of by Koizumi, Japan's ties with China and South Korea have run aground.
On the one hand, Koizumi has repeatedly emphasized the importance of good relations with Asian neighbors. On the other hand, he has repeatedly visited the Yasukuni Shrine that honors capital Japanese war criminals.
The lip-service-playing practice has greatly hurt the feeling of the people in the Asian countries once victimized by Japan's aggression.
If Koizumi does not reverse his wrong attitude toward the history issue, the relationship between Japan and China and between Japan and South Korea will by no means develop healthily no matter how strong the Japan-US relations would be.
Even Bush himself expressed concerns about Japan's distressing relations with China and South Korea before the president embarked on his Asian tour.
Koizumi's remarks also incurred immediate criticism at home. Seiji Maehara, leader of the largest opposition Democratic Party of Japan, said what the prime minister said had signaled that Japan cannot maintain close ties with Asian nations on its own accord but only through its alliance with the United States.
Ichida Tadayoshi, secretariat head of the Japanese Communist Party, said Koizumi clearly showed that he sees the world only through the United States' window frame.
By actively promoting the realignment of US troops in Japan, Koizumi intends to build a system of jointly carrying out military operations with the United States across the world.
Analysts in Tokyo pointed out that Koizumi's remarks had revealed that he is obsessed with the alliance and despises relations with neighboring countries.
But facts have proven that the Japan-US alliance cannot determine every aspect of Japan's foreign policy. If Koizumi keeps taking such position in dealing with foreign relations and tampering with the history issue, Japan's diplomacy in Asia will come to a dead end.
(Xinhua News Agency November 18, 2005)