News / USA

Kerry Travels to Asia as Japan Moves Closer to Russia, India

Kerry Travels to Asia as Japan Moves Closer to Russia, Indiai
X
February 11, 2014 5:48 PM
U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry travels to Asia this week for talks with Chinese and South Korean officials. But he will not be visiting Japan, which is moving closer to Russia and India amid uncertain relations with Washington. VOA's Scott Stearns reports.

Kerry Travels to Asia as Japan Moves Closer to Russia, India

U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry travels to Asia this week for talks with Chinese and South Korean officials. But he will not be visiting Japan, which is moving closer to Russia and India amid uncertain relations with Washington.

Japanese paratroopers are training to defend disputed islands in the East China Sea, as China increases naval patrols under a new air defense zone that includes the islands.

Standoff

It's a standoff that increasingly threatens to involve the United States at a time when relations between Washington and Tokyo are strained over the Yasukuni Shrine, which honors millions of Japanese war dead including 14 convicted of war crimes following World War II.

Prime Minister Shinzo Abe says he went to the shrine to pray for veterans without "hatred or hostility."  

The U.S. expressed disappointment and urged Abe to "find constructive ways to deal with sensitive issues of history."

Abe faces domestic political pressures, says American University professor Lou Goodman.

"He has decided, obviously, that he is going to respond to those and not worry about the international implications of that," Goodman said. "That's not good for international relations."

Beijing benefits

Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi says Japan is trying to justify wartime aggression.

"Abe's defense only proved that he is stubbornly sticking to his wrong conception of history that goes against internationally acknowledged truth and justice," Wang said.

Beijing benefits from uncertainty between Tokyo and Washington according to Michael Auslin, director of Japan Studies at the American Enterprise Institute.

"We send a message to other allies that if a 50-year-old alliance can become undone fairly quickly over these issues and the two sides now have taken, certainly on the Washington side, to publicly shaming and criticizing the partner, for example over the Yasukuni issue, that all alliance relations can be similarly upset," Auslin said.

There was no public talk of the shrine controversy from Kerry and Japanese Foreign Minister Fumio Kishida last week. Instead, they focused on economic and military cooperation.

"No matter what, Japan is an important ally of the United States and will continue to be an important ally of the United States for the foreseeable future," Goodman said. "That being said, Japan, of course, is looking for other alliances as well."

Including Russia, where President Vladimir Putin described his country and Japan as natural partners, adding that he and Abe are discussing ways to end their own territorial disputes.

Indian and Japan

Meanwhile, Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh is working with Abe on new defense and trade deals, including civilian nuclear energy.

"It's very clear that Japan and India are seeing more commonalities between them and not waiting to see how Washington's going to act," Auslin said. "Now, that can actually be very good both for the region and even for the United States.  But it's not good if it's happening because both sides are frustrated and uncertain about the role that the U.S. is going to play."

Kerry begins his trip in South Korea, where Seoul has its own territorial dispute with Tokyo over islands with rich fishing grounds that may also contain large deposits of natural gas.

You May Like

UN: 1 Million Somalis at Risk of Hunger

Group warns region is in dire need of humanitarian aid, with at least 200,000 children under age of five acutely malnourished as drought hits southern, central part of nation More

Human Rights Groups Allege Supression of Freedoms in Thailand

Thailand’s military, police have suppressed release of independent report assessing human rights in kingdom during first 100 days of latest coup More

Jennifer Lawrence Contacts FBI After Nude Photos Hacked

'Silver Linings Playbook' actress' photos were posted on image-sharing forum 4chan; Federal Bureau of Investigations is looking into matter More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Larger Than Life Chinese Lanterns Make Southern California Appearancei
X
Elizabeth Lee
September 02, 2014 8:57 PM
Chinese lanterns with a long history are lighting up in 21st century style at the Los Angeles County Fair in southern California. Visitors can see traditional lanterns that hang, but also lanterns in the shape of animals, iconic landmarks and many other objects, all created by artisans from a place in China known for its lanterns. Elizabeth Lee has the details from the fair in the city of Pomona.
Video

Video Larger Than Life Chinese Lanterns Make Southern California Appearance

Chinese lanterns with a long history are lighting up in 21st century style at the Los Angeles County Fair in southern California. Visitors can see traditional lanterns that hang, but also lanterns in the shape of animals, iconic landmarks and many other objects, all created by artisans from a place in China known for its lanterns. Elizabeth Lee has the details from the fair in the city of Pomona.
Video

Video Experts See Rise of ISIS as Significant Development

The Islamic State’s rise seems sudden. It caught the U.S. by surprise this summer when it captured large portions of northern Iraq and spread its wings in neighboring Syria. But many analysts contend that the group - which grew out of al-Qaida in Iraq - has been rebuilding for years. VOA's Jela de Franceschi takes a closer look at the rise of ISIS and its implications for the Middle East and beyond.
Video

Video Israel Concerned Over Syrian Rebels in Golan

Israeli officials are following with concern the recent fighting between Syrian rebels and government forces near the contested Golan Heights. Forty-four U.N. peacekeepers from Fiji have been seized by Syrian Islamist rebels and the clashes occasionally have spilled into Israel. VOA’s Scott Bobb reports from Jerusalem.
Video

Video Ukraine Schools Resume Classes, Donate to Government Forces

A new school year has started in Ukraine but thousands of children in the war-torn east are unable to attend because of ongoing clashes with pro-Russia rebels. In Ukraine's capital, patriotic education has become the norm along with donations to support injured security forces fighting to take back rebel-held areas. VOA's Daniel Schearf reports from Kyiv.
Video

Video US Detainees Want Negotiators for Freedom in North Korea

The three U.S. detainees held in North Korea were permitted to speak with foreign media Monday. The government of Kim Jong Un restricted the topics of the questions, and the interviews in Pyongyang were limited to five minutes. Each of the men asked Washington to send a representative to Pyongyang to secure his release. VOA’s Carolyn Presutti has our story.
Video

Video Turkmen From Amerli Describe Survival of IS Siege

Over the past few weeks, hundreds of Shi'ite Turkmen have fled the town of Amerli seeking refuge in the northern city of Kirkuk. Despite recent military gains after U.S. airstrikes that were coordinated with Iraqi and Kurdish forces, the situation remains dire for Amerli’s residents. Sebastian Meyer went to Kirkuk for VOA to speak to those who managed to escape.
Video

Video West Africa Ebola Vaccine Trials Possible by Early 2015

A U.S. health agency is speeding up clinical trials of a possible vaccine against the deadly Ebola virus that so far has killed more than 1,500 people in West Africa. If successful, the next step would be a larger trial in countries where the outbreak is occurring. VOA's Carol Pearson has more.
Video

Video Survivors Commemorate 70th Anniversary of Nazi Liquidation of Jewish Ghetto

When the German Nazi army occupied the Polish city of Lodz in 1939, it marked the beginning of a long nightmare for the Jewish community that once made up one third of the population. Roughly 200,000 people were forced into the Lodz Ghetto. Less than 7,000 survived. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, some survivors gathered at the Union League Club in Chicago on the 70th anniversary of the liquidation of the Lodz Ghetto to remember those who suffered at the hands of the Nazi regime.

AppleAndroid