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Home > Media Reviews > News Review Last Updated: 13:48 07/04/2007
News Review #402: July 4, 2007

Japan PM to Pick First Woman Defense Minister - Media

Reviewed by Takahiro MIYAO

Japan PM to Pick First Woman Defense Minister - Media
China Daily (7/3/2007)


It is well known by now that Ms. Yuriko Koike has been appointed as Japan's defense minister upon resignation of her predecessor who made some inappropriate remarks on US atomic bombings in Japan. She is, of course, the first woman defense minister ever appointed in Japan's political history, and it is quite significant by itself, as Japan is lagging behind other advanced countries, and many developing nations for that matter, regarding gender equality in public offices.

Equally significant may be the fact that the news about the appointment of the new defense minister was reported in China sooner than anywhere else after mass media reporting in Japan. China Daily did that by quoting Japanese media reports, apparently without formal confirmation. This may well show how sensitive the Chinese government and general public are to Japan's stance in the military and security field. Naturally, China should be carefully watching any move in this field, especially in the Asia-Pacific region with stable US-China relations yet to be worked out, partly because of the remaining issues facing the both nations including the North Korea and Taiwan problems.

In contrast, the Japanese government seems a little too obsessed by the North Korea problem, especially the abduction issue, and losing perspectives in the Asia-Pacific region which is increasingly overshadowed by military buildups not only in North Korea, but also in China and India with nuclear weapons. Rather than talking about past events such as US atomic bombings in Japan, PM Abe and his Cabinet members, especially defense minister, should have focused on future prospects for a nuclear free Asia, an issue that is something the new defense minister as well as PM Abe must address more forcefully.

This review is adopted from the following blog (with its Japanese translation):

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