Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Professor Sracic Counts ‘Em So You Don’t Have to: State of the Union Address and Japan

One popular Japanese parlor game (to the extent that Japanese houses have parlors) is counting the number of time that “Japan” is mentioned in a major policy statement by a US president/presidential candidate/cabinet member. Now, Paul Sracic is not one of those counters—he has a day job in political science that makes him cover major policy statements for what they are, policy statements for the United States—but he has been kind enough to tell me that President Obama mentioned “Japan” just once, as in:

“Caterpillar is bringing jobs back from Japan.”

...and a shout-out to Youngstown, Ohio...

Thanks, Paul, we needed that.

Paul is not all sticks and coal, though. He just urged the Obama administration to welcome Prime Minister Abe and Japan into the TPP negotiations. But can Abe take a hint? He needs an exception come his February visit to Washington, when a nod from Obama can seal a July victory for the LDP. Stay tuned.

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