October 19, 2012

JAPANESE NATIONALISTS rattle the cages. “Nationalism is on the rise in Japan, as it is elsewhere in Asia. But the Japanese seem only dimly aware of the fact that they live in a very precarious neighborhood, surrounded by strong nuclear powers with long memories of past conflicts with Japan. With the Russians deploying to the Far East, the South Koreans incensed by the Dokdo island dispute, the Chinese burning Japanese cars and flags, and always-volatile North Korea, the Japanese could probably use a lighter touch in their politics and diplomacy. These disputes may be a headache for the U.S., but they also demonstrate the continuing need for a strong U.S. military presence in the Pacific. The American naval presence in the region has been one of the major reasons these conflicts haven’t erupted since the end of the Korean War. Don’t expect large budget cuts for the Navy anytime soon.”

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