GLOCOM Platform
debates Media Reviews Tech Reviews Special Topics Books & Journals
Summary Page
Search with Google
Home > Media Reviews > News Review Last Updated: 11:02 11/19/2007
News Review #421: November 19, 2007

Bush and Fukuda Try to Bolster U.S.-Japanese Ties

Reviewed by Takahiro MIYAO

Bush and Fukuda Try to Bolster U.S.-Japanese Ties
Reuters (11/16/2007)


U.S. President George W. Bush and Japanese Prime Minister Yasuo Fukuda met in Washington on Friday, November 16. This was Mr. Fukuda's first visit to the U.S. since taking office and, therefore, the main purpose for his visit was to assure the U.S. President of Japan's commitment to the bilateral alliance between the two countries. Unlike any of the previous U.S.-Japan summit talks, however, such assurance seems more than formality this time for a couple of reasons:

First, it is widely known that Prime Minister Fukuda has been emphasizing the importance of Japan's relations with Asia relations more than previous prime ministers, especially, Mr. Abe and Mr. Koizumi. This may be fine from Japan's domestic viewpoint, but could be misinterpreted by the U.S. government as neglecting the importance of the U.S.-Japan Alliance. This is why the fact that Mr. Fukuda chose the U.S. the first destination of his overseas visits is so significant. Second, Prime Minister Fukuda had to soothe Washington's worries in person, as there might be some doubts about the leadership of Mr. Fukuda, who is now facing tough opposition in the Diet. At least he could assure that his government and the ruling coalition would be doing their best in supporting the U.S.-Japan Alliance, no matter what stance the opposition parties take with regard to their relations with the U.S. Just before his visit to the U.S., Prime Minister Fukuda managed to push a new Afghan anti-terrorism bill, as a symbolic gesture, through the Lower House, where the ruling coalition still holds the majority, although it might well be rejected in the Upper House dominated by the opposition parties.

Now that Prime Minister Fukuda has completed his symbolic visit to Washington, he has to face the reality of domestic politics, where he might not be able to deliver what he promised not only to President Bush but also to his constituencies after all.

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

bullet Top
Copyright © Japanese Institute of Global Communications