Bush is Big in Japan

In Japan, Liberal Democratic Party Secretary General Tsutomu Takebe -- No. 2 in his party behind Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi -- talked to a Tokyo talk show Thursday:
"I think there would be trouble if it's not President Bush," Liberal Democratic Party Secretary General Tsutomu Takebe told a radio program, Kyodo news agency reported.

"For instance, Mr. Kerry wants to handle the North Korean issue bilaterally, which is out of the question. We're now in the era of multilateralism," Takebe was quoted as saying, referring to six-way talks involving North and South Korea, Japan, the United States, China and Russia over the North's nuclear ambitions. [Reuters]
Earlier on Thursday, Koizumi had said: "I am very close to President Bush. So I want him to do his best." He was attacked by the Japanese opposition, so he almost retracted Friday: ''It's not good to interfere in another country's election. Japan-U.S. relations are important and Japan will firmly develop the alliance no matter who is president."

Kerry will not be phased by these statements, of course, because I don't think he considers Japan to be a "ally of the United States," in the classic sense. Kerry thinks of Western European powers as our real allies, and they are the traditional allies to an extent. Nations outside this western European pocket do not register with him, and most certainly not Asian nations. And Israel registers with carry as an ally only because they have to politically. He cannot afford to discount the Jewish-American community, a part of his party's traditional base.

Kerry is not beloved by the world.



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