Abe’s subservience to Trump stands out: Shii in statement on Japan-US Summit
February 12, 2017
Japanese Communist Party Chair Shii Kazuo has described the Japan-U.S. Summit meeting held on February 10, local time, in the White House as displaying Abe’s “subservience to Trump”.
Shii on February 11 issued the following statement on the first bilateral talks between Japan’s Prime Minister Abe Shinzo and U.S. President Donald Trump:
Abe during his first summit meeting with Trump showed his submissive stance of promising the “Japan-U.S. alliance first” to the Trump administration which calls for “America First”. Abe’s extraordinarily “obsequiousness to Trump” has stood out in every policy issue from security to the economy.
This summit meeting took place amid intense criticism from within the United States and abroad against Trump’s executive order barring people from seven countries. PM Abe, regarding such critical humanitarian issues involving international human rights, kept silent by saying, “I decline to comment about that.” Here again, he showed to the world his position as a “Trump adherent”.
During the summit talks, the two leaders emphasized the strengthening of the Japan-U.S. alliance and agreed that “Japan will assume larger roles and responsibilities in the alliance.” They also reaffirmed, “The United States and Japan will continue to implement and expand defense cooperation as laid out in the 2015 U.S.-Japan Defense Guidelines”. Furthermore, they confirmed to instruct their foreign and defense ministers to hold a 2-plus-2 meeting “to identify ways to further strengthen the U.S.-Japan Alliance”.
The meeting confirmed Abe’s commitment to continue going ahead with military cooperation on a global scale between U.S. troops and Japan’s Self Defense Forces and to further promote his ambition to turn Japan into a “war fighting nation abroad” based on the New Guidelines and the national security legislation (war laws). The Japanese Communist Party severely opposes such a dangerous and aggressive enhancement of the Japan-U.S. military alliance. The JCP will continue making efforts to abolish the unconstitutional security legislation (war laws).
In the meeting, the two leaders affirmed the promotion of the new U.S. base construction in Okinawa’s Nago City as the “only solution” (to the Futenma base relocation). It is totally unacceptable to impose another base burden on Okinawans for the sake of the Japan-U.S. alliance by trampling on local opposition which has repeatedly been expressed in opposition victories in recent elections.
Regarding economic issues, Prime Minister Abe showed his stance of being extremely subservient to President Trump. At the joint press conference, PM Abe said that Japan will be able to “contribute to President Trump’s growth strategy,” adding, “There will be even more new jobs in the United States.” He announced that Japan will fully cooperate with and work for Trump’s policies in regard to the U.S. economy. This is nothing other than what can be characterized as a “fawning diplomacy”.
Under the situation where the Trump-led U.S. government decided on departing from the Trans-Pacific Partnership free-trade framework, the Japanese and U.S. leaders pledged to “explore how best to accomplish” the deepening of their nations’ relations on trade and investment in addition to the start of discussions “between the United States and Japan on a bilateral framework”. Based on Japan’s compromises in the TPP negotiations, Japan will face the risk of being forced to offer more in every field in future trade talks with the U.S. government. The JCP will forcefully oppose such moves.
Furthermore, Abe and Trump agreed to set up an economic dialogue led by Japan’s Deputy Prime Minister Aso Taro and his U.S. counterpart Mike Pence as a new structure for economic cooperation between the two nations. Themes for the dialogue have three main pillars: These will be economic policies; cooperation in infrastructure investments and the field of energy; and rules on trade and investment. It is highly likely that this new framework would lead to U.S. interference in the Japanese government’s economic policies.
The Abe government’s “Japan-U.S. alliance-first” approach to the “America First” Trump administration will face opposition by the general public and eventually reach an impasse. It should drastically change its rigid position which puts absolute priority on its military ties with the U.S.
Only by abrogating the Japan-U.S. Security Treaty, a source of Japan’s continued subordination to the U.S., and concluding a genuine friendship treaty can Japan-U.S. relations in the 21st century enter a new stage based on friendship on equal footing.