As you may be aware, Japan recently elected a new party into power after decades of dominance by the Liberal Democratic Party. The new party (Democratic Party of Japan) promised to be less “passive” in regards to the US. This has not gone over well within the bowels of the Pentagon:
In November last year, U.S. Defence Secretary Robert Gates warned Japan that it would face “serious consequences” if the new government did not honour the commitments on the bases given by the former government. During his visit, Gates loudly lobbied for an extension of the military bases agreement.
Imagine if a foreign emissary came here warning us to do as he says or there will be “serious consequences”. Such arrogance is why the Japanese are unwilling to continue being our thankless sidekick.
China is also a factor. Japan seems to be throwing its lot in with China and other eastern countries, probably because our bullying behavior and rapidly-declining-in-value currency are getting really annoying.
Is this The Powers That Be’s way of getting back at Japan? It’s more of a warning than a crippling blow, but things could escalate quickly if the wall of secrecy continues to crumble:
The recent revelations of secret security pacts with the U.S. have inflamed public opinion. The Japanese Foreign Minister has appointed a team of scholars to delve into the Foreign Ministry’s archives to track down secret documents relating to security ties with the U.S.
“Secret agreements”? Yeah, this is when the conspiracy theorist in me starts paying attention. There is a lot more underneath the surface if you start to dig. If you find anything juicy, let me know in the comments.
I should also note that the US Government is currently the majority stakeholder in a direct Toyota competitor: General Motors. If “investigating” a foreign competitor to a state-owned business isn’t a conflict of interest, I don’t know what is. Congress has jumped the shark; we’d be better off with a bunch of muppets in charge.
Meanwhile, he Japanese people and their media are watching events in Congress closely, and they are familiar with Kabuki drama.
Still, the Japanese media have carried a number of articles and broadcast segments analyzing the meaning of the upcoming hearing, many pointing to what they saw as political motives behind the actions by lawmakers and regulators.
Mark my words, this bit of political theater is not a coincidence.