Sunday, September 9, 2007

Mr. Abe's exit strategy?

The Sydney APEC summit has come and gone — with, to my surprise, only one appearance by the cast of The Chaser (I definitely recommend subscribing to the podcast of their show).

On the sidelines of the summit this weekend, President Bush and Prime Ministers Howard and Abe held their meetings. Not surprisingly, Mr. Bush reminded Mr. Abe about how important his administration finds Japan's contribution to the war on terror, with Mr. Abe telling his buddy George that he will do everything in his power to get the law passed to enable the MSDF to continue its participation.

(Not surprisingly, Asahi speaks of Mr. Bush's demanding extension of the anti-terror law, Yomiuri talks of Mr. Abe's promising support.)

But that's not all Mr. Abe said, apparently.

Reportedly the prime minister said that he is "staking his job" on the passage of the anti-terror special measures law. To have remained defiant this long only to now offer up his head in connection to a bill that looks increasingly certain to be defeated — it gives a little more credence to Peter Ennis's report that Mr. Abe may be gone by November, mentioned in this post. Is the prime minister trying to guarantee that the DPJ's opposition to the law's renewal will remain implacable? Is he deliberately trying to make his position untenable, intensifying opposition from the DPJ, from within the LDP, and from abroad in the increasingly likely event that he will be unable to deliver on his "solemn vow"?

When he says he'll give up his job if he can't get the law passed, does he expect that people will rally to his side, or is Mr. Abe preparing to go out in a blaze of glory, fighting a fight on behalf of the US-Japan alliance that he knows he can't win, a martyr to the idea of a more assertive Japan?

1 comment:

Gringo Jon said...

America had an Abe and his policies caused the country to catch on fire. He stuck to his principles and he paid with his life. He would not have had it any other way. Fighting, when it is necessary and just, is a good thing. Bloodshed for liberty is required every now and then for liberty is not free. Preemptive self defense in a nuclear age is a course events that all good leaders accept, even when it leads to their personal destruction. If we don't get up before our enemies, we may not be able to get up. Whose children will we choose to sacrifice if we are not willing to fight for their right for a reasonably secure future? Abe is willing to do that.