Japanese Prime Minister Yukio Hatoyama will meet with president Obama this week in Tokyo to tackle issues such as Afghanistan, the environment, and the economic crisis.
Obama has said to the Japanese public broadcasting service, NHK, that he is willing to pay his respects to the cities of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, the only two sites that the United States has ever used the atomic bomb against.
Japanese Prime Minister Hatoyama was not reached for comment on the issue but it seems Obama is not publicizing this part of his trip.
Prime Minister Hatoyama was the first foreign leader to visit the Obama white house and now he has extended the same hospitality to our president.
During their meeting at the Whitehouse early 2009, Obama stressed that he wished to strengthen Japanese-American relations.
The leaders of the two largest economies will meet later this week and continue to form the bond they created in the first month of Obama’s administration.
SECURITY WITHIN ASIA
Obama has stated that America’s relationship with Japan secures the United States’ place in east-Asia.
The meeting with Hatoyama won’t be without its struggles. Secretary of State Clinton has meet with Chinese and talks with North Korea are always on the table which is not something the Japanese government readily approves of.
Most likely, Obama’s visit will center around the environment as the Copenhagen conference is the next international conference that he will be attending.
Not since George Bush Sr, a former ambassador to China under Nixon, have we seen a president so interested in Asia and its place in the world.
With the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq seizing most of our foreign policy attention its easy to forget how important Asia has been in the past several decades in securing world peace.
Nixon and his triangular diplomacy diffused strong cold war tensions and the trade wars of 80s between America and Japan lead to a great exchange of products and culture.
I hope that Obama will periodically focus on the marvelous potential Asia has in shaping economic and political power world wide.