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

TEXT SIZE - +
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

Multimedia Anti-Keystone XL Protests Continue

Demonstrators are worried about pipeline's effect on climate change, their traditional way of life, health and safety More

Thailand's Political Power Struggle Continues

Court gave Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra until May 2 to prepare her defense over abuse of power charges but uncertainty remains over election timing More

Malaysia Plane Search Tests Limits of Ocean Mapping Technology

Expert tells VOA existing equipment’s maximum operating depth is around 6 kilometers as operation continues on ocean bed for any trace of MH370 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.
Pet Kangaroo Helps Spread Environmental Messagei
X
Penelope Poulou
April 22, 2014 5:53 PM
Children’s author Julia Heckathorn travels the world to learn about different ecosystems and endangered animals. She pours her knowledge into children’s books, hoping the next generation will right the environmental wrongs of our times. As in many children's books, the main character in Heckathorn's stories is an animal. Unlike those other characters, though, this one is real - a kangaroo, that lives in the author’s backyard. VOA’s Penelope Poulou has more.
Video

Video Pet Kangaroo Helps Spread Environmental Message

Children’s author Julia Heckathorn travels the world to learn about different ecosystems and endangered animals. She pours her knowledge into children’s books, hoping the next generation will right the environmental wrongs of our times. As in many children's books, the main character in Heckathorn's stories is an animal. Unlike those other characters, though, this one is real - a kangaroo, that lives in the author’s backyard. VOA’s Penelope Poulou has more.
Video

Video Pro-Russian Separatists Plan 'Federalization Referendum' in Eastern Ukraine

Pro-Russian separatists in eastern Ukraine say they plan to move forward next month with a referendum vote for greater autonomy, despite the Geneva agreement reached with Russia, the U.S. and Ukraine to end the political conflict. VOA's Brian Padden reports from the city of Donetsk in Eastern Ukraine.
Video

Video Pope Francis Hopes Dual Canonizations Will Reconcile Church

On April 27, two popes - John the XXIII and John Paul II - will be made saints in a ceremony at St. Peter’s Square. VOA religion correspondent Jerome Socolovsky says the dual canonization is part of the current pope’s program to reconcile liberals and conservatives in the Roman Catholic Church.
Video

Video In Capturing Nature's Majesty, Film Makes Case for Its Survival

French filmmaker Luc Jacquet won worldwide acclaim for his 2005 Academy Award-winning documentary "March of the Penguins". Now Jacquet is back with a new film that takes movie-goers deep into the heart of a tropical rainforest - not only to celebrate its grandeur, but to make the case for its survival. VOA's Rosanne Skirble reports.
Video

Video Boston Marathon Bittersweet for Many Runners

Monday's running of the Boston Marathon was bittersweet for many of the 36,000 participants as they finished the run that was interrupted by a double bombing last year. Many gathered along the route paid respect to the four people killed as a result of two bombings near the finish line. VOA's Carolyn Presutti returned to Boston this year to follow two runners, forever changed because of the crimes.
Video

Video International Students Learn Film Production in World's Movie Capital

Hollywood - which is part of Los Angeles - is the movie capital of the world, and many aspiring filmmakers go there in hopes of breaking into the movie business. Mike O'Sullivan reports that regional universities are also a magnet for students who hope to become producers or directors.
Video

Video Pacific Rim Trade Deal Proves Elusive

With the U.S.-led war in Iraq ended and American military involvement in Afghanistan winding down, President Barack Obama has sought to pivot the country's foreign policy focus towards Asia. One aspect of that pivot is the negotiation of a free-trade agreement among 12 Pacific Rim nations. But as Obama leaves this week on a trip to four Asian countries he has found it very difficult to complete the trade pact. VOA's Ken Bredemeier has more from Washington.
Video

Video Autistic Adults Face Housing, Job Challenges

Many parents of children with disabilities fear for the future of their adult child. It can be difficult to find services to help adults with disabilities - physical, mental or emotional - find work or live on their own. The mother of an autistic boy set up a foundation to advocate for the estimated 1.2 million American adults with autism, a developmental disorder that causes communication difficulties and often social difficulties. VOA's Faiza Elmasry reports.
AppleAndroid