America and Japan in usual anti-China mantra under Biden and Suga

America and Japan in usual anti-China mantra under Biden and Suga

Kanako Mita and Lee Jay Walker

Modern Tokyo Times

The former leader of Japan, Shinzo Abe, could contain anti-China hawks during his leadership. However, it is noticeable under Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga that the Japanese Foreign Ministry is enacting a hawkish policy aimed at China. Therefore, President Joe Biden of America and Suga appear to be trapped in a Cold War policy aimed at this country.

Of course, for Biden, his administration equally focuses on being anti-Russian Federation. Hence, America and Japan in 2021 keep on banging the drums of a Cold War mantra. Thus it wasn’t surprising that Biden and Suga came out with anti-China sentiments after meeting each other in Washington.

Indeed, the backward steps of time meant that America and Japan even touched on Taiwan for the first time in roughly 50 years in a declared statement. Both confirmed, in a joint statement, the importance of peace concerning the Taiwan Strait. Naturally, this will irk China and give credence to anti-China hawks dominating the Japanese Foreign Ministry at the expense of a more diplomatic approach.

Biden said, “Japan and the United States are two strong democracies in the region. We’re committed, we’re committed in defending and advancing our shared values, including human rights and the rule of law. We’re going to work together to prove that democracies can still compete and win in the 21st century. We can deliver for our people and the face of a rapidly changing world.”

Ironically, in the 20th-century, expansionism and wars materialized based on the deeds of America and Japan in Asia. Indeed, China was a victim like others of Western and Japanese expansionism. Meanwhile, the legacy of America – irrespective of good deeds – still entails the dropping of two atomic bombs on Japan and the dropping of Agent Orange on Vietnam (Cambodia and Laos also suffered).

Suga, negating history and sounding very Bidenesque, uttered, “The Japan-United States alliance has been a cornerstone of peace, stability, and prosperity in the Indo-Pacific region and around the world. And it is now becoming more important than ever, due to the current regional situation and the tough security environment.”

America and Japan also mentioned Xinjiang and Hong Kong despite these issues being internal to China. If Japan is focused on democracy and human rights, then internally very few refugees are given citizenship. Equally, when Suga visited Indonesia, he didn’t press this nation about human rights concerning West Papua. Therefore, Suga shouldn’t utilize human rights when aimed solely at China.

In a past article by Modern Tokyo Times, it was stated, “Japan needs to look at the past cultural and religious angle with China rather than following the geopolitical coattail of America. Hence, Japan needs a more nuanced approach towards China, just like South Korea adopts. However, it appears that the Japan Foreign Ministry can’t constrain itself under the leadership of Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga when it comes to the anti-China mantra.”

In recent months Japan entailed its anti-China mantra with America, Australia, France, Germany, India, Indonesia, Malaysia, the United Kingdom, and other nations. Thus anti-China hawks in the Japanese Foreign Ministry are music to the ears of Biden at the moment. However, history tells us that America can change course at the drop of a hat. Therefore, China’s economic clout may eventually usher in a new approach – even if under a different American administration.

Overall, the Suga administration should change tact from the anti-China hawks within the Japanese Foreign Ministry. Instead, a more diplomatic approach by the current Japanese government is needed rather than adopting America’s containment policy of China.

Similarly, China should reach out to regional nations concerning disputed territorial areas. If so, this will erase part of the anti-China mantra emanating out of Washington and Tokyo.

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