Monday, April 30, 2007

Japan: What Do I think of Prime Minister Abe's Trip to the US?

Since you asked…   No, really.

A success, that's what. Mr. Abe accomplished about as much he could have hoped for. As I had said before, contrary to the composite wishes of the LAT editorial board and other voices in the AMSM, the Japanese government did not issue an apology and the Emperor did not issue an apology, and demonstrators greeted Mr. Abe. Nevertheless, he received President Bush's blessings, and, much more significantly as a non-gimmie, seems to have received the understanding of the Congressional leadership, including Nancy Pelosi (and when have you seen President Bush and Speaker Pelosi not clash on any political issue?)

Like it or not, Mr. Abe got the issue out of his way. Now, all he has to do is to remember not to induge his penchant to overexplain. Come to think of it, Mssrs. Kyuma, Matsuoka, Yanagisawa, Omi, Shizaki, et al, have been uncommonly quiet of late. Given Mr. Abe's bedrock support (people genuinely don't dislike him), and the general public confidence in the performance of the economy, I think he has turned the corner. Whether it's a 90-degree turn or a 180 I have no idea. But you may not have been so off the mark after all, Ian.

Back to work.

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