Thursday, February 15, 2007

Japan-China Pas de Deux (Don't Worry about Us, BBC)

My BBC obsession continues.


Rumors are that Prime Minister Abe will ask for a Hu Jintao visit. Foreign Minister Li will say, not this year, and request that Mr. Abe come again.

"Slowly improving", indeed. It does have the facts right, but there's no sense of the underlying game.



Feb. 16 addendum:
In case anyone's browser obscures the link under the headline (my Firefox seems to have a problem), the BBC article is here.

Ross's comment and my response clarifies what I am trying to get at here.

2 comments:

ross said...

By underlying game you must be referring to Abe's desire to have Hu visit just prior to the upper house election?

Jun Okumura said...

To Ross:

Thank you for reminding me, Ross. That is certainly a huge example of my point (not articulated properly, due to insufficient time and excessive alcohol), which is that the BBC article misses completely the fact that this state-to-state part of the bilateral relationship is mostly dictated by domestic politics. One script, one stage, one performance, two completely separate audiences; surely true of most diplomacy, but how often do we see the theatrics so replete with symbolism?

The BBC oversight is the only explanation for such nonsense as:

"But there are many differences that still need to be resolved.

"In the recently agreed deal on North Korean disarmament, Japan has often taken a harder line than China, and has already refused to fund aid to Pyongyang due to a row about abductions of Japanese citizens."

...................

In case anyone's browser obscures the link under the headline (my Firefox seems to have a problem), the BBC article is here.