Council of Councils Inaugural MeetingKudo cautions against "vaccum of dialogue" between Japan and U.S

May 16, 2012

Genron NPO Representative Yasushi Kudo has expressed his deep apprehension about what he termed "a vaccum of dialogue" over the all-important security alliance between Japan and the United States.


"I am very apprehensive about the vacuum of dialogue between Japan and the United States regarding security in the Asian region and Asia's future. The absence of dialogue is apparent not only at the government level but also at the private-sector level," he said at a forum in Washington, D.C.

"Japan and the United States are in dire need of freer and more active bilateral discussions regarding the future of Asia and the Pacific," Kudo emphasized at a panel discussion March 15, organized by the Council on Foreign Relations (CFR), a leading U.S. foreign policy institute.

Kudo made the remarks during the CFR-sponsored panel discussion March 15, titled "The United States: Views from Abroad: International Perspectives (from Japan, France and Russia) on the United States," as a panelist, along with Igor Yurgens, chairman of the Institute of Contemporary Development in Russia, and Thierry de Montbrial, president of the French Institute for International Relations.

Asked by the moderator of the session about his view of Japan-U.S. relations, Kudo said that U.S. foreign policy is weighing relations with China and making light of Japan.

While an overwhelming majority of Japanese feel deeply indebted to the Americans for their heartfelt support in the wake of the tragic Great East Japan Earthquake on March 11, 2011, Kudo referred to the simple fact that there hasn't been an official visit to the United States by a Japanese prime minister for the past two and a half years since the Democratic Party of Japan came to power. (While Kudo was in Washington, he was informed by Japanese diplomatic sources that Prime Minister Yoshihiko Noda would be paying an official visit to the U.S. capital in late April.)

"I fully understand that the priority of U.S. diplomacy is shifting toward the Asia-Pacific region. In terms of security, the dispersed deployment of the U.S. military in the Asia-Pacific would eventually thrust Japan to the forefront of the new strategy vis-à-vis China.

As an ally, it is natural for Japan to keep pace with U.S. moves, but I don't feel any serious efforts are being made between the governments of the United States and Japan to build consensus regarding the security strategy in this part of the world," Kudo regretted.

Kudo told the audience of some 40 influential U.S. government bureaucrats, mostly those of the defense, commerce and state departments, that for regional stability in East Asia, it is necessary to create not only government-level dialogue but also a high-level, private-sector channel of dialogue, involving the United States, Japan and China.

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