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

    US, Somalia Launch New Chapter in Relations

    US sends first ambassador to Somalia in 25 years; diplomatic presence and forces pulled out in 1993, after 18 US soldiers were killed when militiamen shot down military helicopter

    Brexit Vote Ripples Across South Asia

    Experts say exit is likely to have far-reaching economic, political and social implications for a region with deep historic ties to Britain

    Russian Military Tests Readiness With Snap Inspections

    Some observers see surprise drill as tit-for-tat response to NATO’s recent multinational military exercises in Baltic region

    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.
    Testing Bamboo as Building Materiali
    X
    June 27, 2016 9:06 PM
    For thousands of years various species of bamboo - one of the world's most versatile plants - have been used for diverse purposes ranging from food and medicine to textiles and construction. But its use on a large scale is hampered because it's not manufactured to specific standards but grown in the ground. A University of Pittsburgh professor is on track to changing that. VOA’s George Putic reports.
    Video

    Video Testing Bamboo as Building Material

    For thousands of years various species of bamboo - one of the world's most versatile plants - have been used for diverse purposes ranging from food and medicine to textiles and construction. But its use on a large scale is hampered because it's not manufactured to specific standards but grown in the ground. A University of Pittsburgh professor is on track to changing that. VOA’s George Putic reports.
    Video

    Video Orphanage in Iraqi City Houses Kids Who Lost their Parents to Attacks by IS

    An orphanage in Iraqi Kurdistan has become home to scores of Yazidi children who lost their parents after Islamic State militants took over Sinjar in Iraq’s Nineveh Province in 2014. Iraqi Kurdish forces backed by the U.S. airstrikes have since recaptured Sinjar but the need for the care provided by the orphanage continues. VOA’s Kawa Omar filed this report narrated by Rob Raffaele.
    Video

    Video Re-Opening Old Wounds in a Bullet-Riddled Cultural Landmark

    A cultural landmark before Lebanon’s civil war transformed it into a nest of snipers, Beirut’s ‘Yellow House’ is once again set to play a crucial role in the city.  Built in a neo-Ottoman style in the 1920s, in September it is set to be re-opened as a ‘memory museum’ - its bullet-riddled walls and bunkered positions overlooking the city’s notorious ‘Green Line’ maintained for posterity. John Owens reports from Beirut.
    Video

    Video Brexit Resounds in US Presidential Contest

    Britain’s decision to leave the European Union is resounding in America’s presidential race. As VOA’s Michael Bowman reports, Republican presumptive nominee Donald Trump sees Britain’s move as an affirmation of his campaign’s core messages, while Democrat Hillary Clinton sees the episode as further evidence that Trump is unfit to be president.
    Video

    Video New York Pride March A Celebration of Life, Mourning of Loss

    At this year’s march in New York marking the end of pride week, a record-breaking crowd of LGBT activists and allies marched down Manhattan's Fifth Avenue, in what will be long remembered as a powerful display of solidarity and remembrance for the 49 victims killed two weeks ago in an Orlando gay nightclub.
    Video

    Video NASA Juno Spacecraft, Nearing Jupiter, to Shed Light on Gas Giant

    After a five-year journey, the spacecraft Juno is nearing its destination, the giant planet Jupiter, where it will enter orbit and start sending data back July 4th. As Mike O'Sullivan reports from Pasadena, California, the craft will pierce the veil of Jupiter's dense cloud cover to reveal its mysteries.
    Video

    Video Orlando Shooting Changes Debate on Gun Control

    It’s been nearly two weeks since the largest mass shooting ever in the United States. Despite public calls for tighter gun control laws, Congress is at an impasse. Democratic lawmakers resorted to a 1960s civil rights tactic to portray their frustration. VOA’s Carolyn Presutti explains how the Orlando, Florida shooting is changing the debate.
    Video

    Video Tunisian Fishing Town Searches for Jobs, Local Development Solutions

    As the European Union tries to come to grips with its migrant crisis, some newcomers are leaving voluntarily. But those returning to their home countries face an uncertain future.  Five years after Tunisia's revolution, the tiny North African country is struggling with unrest, soaring unemployment and plummeting growth. From the southern Tunisian fishing town of Zarzis, Lisa Bryant takes a look for VOA at a search for local solutions.
    Video

    Video 'American Troops' in Russia Despite Tensions

    Historic battle re-enactment is a niche hobby with a fair number of adherents in Russia where past military victories are played-up by the Kremlin as a show of national strength. But, one group of World War II re-enactors in Moscow has the rare distinction of choosing to play western ally troops. VOA's Daniel Schearf explains.
    Video

    Video Muslim American Mayor Calls for Tolerance

    Syrian-born Mohamed Khairullah describes himself as "an American mayor who happens to be Muslim." As the three-term mayor of Prospect Park, New Jersey, he believes his town of 6,000 is an example of how ethnicity and religious beliefs should not determine a community's leadership. Ramon Taylor has this report from Prospect Park.
    Video

    Video Internal Rifts Over Syria Policy Could Be Headache for Next US President

    With the Obama administration showing little outward enthusiasm for adopting a more robust Syria policy, there is a strong likelihood that the internal discontent expressed by State Department employees will roll over to the next administration. VOA State Department correspondent Pam Dockins reports.
    Video

    Video Senegal to Park Colorful ‘Cars Rapides’ Permanently

    Brightly painted cars rapide are a hallmark of Dakar, offering residents a cheap way to get around the capital city since 1976. But the privately owned minibuses are scheduled to be parked for good in late 2018, as Ricci Shryock reports for VOA.

    Special Report

    Adrift The Invisible African Diaspora