« アネックスギフト | トップページ | セントラルワールドの放火には外国人が関与? »

2010年5月23日 (日)

日米外相会談 現行案軸に「普天間」合意急げ

The Yomiuri Shimbun (May. 23, 2010)
Japan-U.S. accord on Futenma an urgent task
日米外相会談 現行案軸に「普天間」合意急げ(5月22日付・読売社説)

This is no time for Prime Minister Yukio Hatoyama to be overly concerned about his personal pride. If he aims to reach a Japan-U.S. agreement on the issue of relocating the U.S. Marine Corps' Futenma Air Station in Okinawa Prefecture, he should not cling to superficial revisions but go back to the original plan agreed upon by Japan and the United States in 2006.

U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton met with Foreign Minister Katsuya Okada during a brief visit to this country Friday, and confirmed that the two nations would continue to work toward the announcement of a bilateral agreement on the Futenma issue within the month.

"I am confident we will resolve this matter in a way that reflects the very best of our alliance, the strength of that alliance," Clinton stressed in a joint press conference with Okada.

The Hatoyama administration initially rejected the original 2006 plan, which calls for the reclamation of a coastal area in the Henoko district of Nago, Okinawa Prefecture, to construct an alternative facility to the Futenma Air Station.

However, the administration recently changed its approach to settling the issue by partially revising the 2006 plan on such points as the location of the alternative facility and the construction method. This is because the administration's attempts to obtain the cooperation of new candidate sites for relocation--such as Tokunoshima island in Kagoshima Prefecture--failed one after another, mainly due to opposition from local governments and residents.


Too late but practical

As there is almost no hope Hatoyama will be able to keep his promise of settling the issue by the end of May, the administration appears to want to demonstrate that the problem has been solved by at least managing to reach a Japan-U.S. agreement.

The policy change comes too late, but it is practical and desirable from the viewpoint of lessening the burden on Okinawa Prefecture while at the same time maintaining the Japan-U.S. alliance.

As long as the administration is reversing its policy, it should immediately abandon the idea of changing the construction method from reclamation to the quick installation platform method in the name of "giving serious consideration to the environment."

The government should give more consideration to the fact that an administrative organization of residents in the Henoko district--people who will feel the impact of the relocation most strongly--accepted the 2006 reclamation plan, albeit conditionally.

Hatoyama advocated transfer of the Futenma functions to somewhere outside the prefecture due to his lack of understanding of the problem and was unable to make a decision to go forward with the 2006 plan in December last year. He should apologize to the public for these failures in a straightforward manner and ask for the understanding of local governments and residents of Okinawa Prefecture.


China's cooperation key

During the Okada-Clinton talks, the two ministers agreed their countries would support South Korea and cooperate with that nation regarding the March sinking of a South Korean Navy patrol vessel. A multinational team of investigators concluded Thursday the ship sank as the result of a torpedo attack by a North Korean submarine.

Although it was South Korea that was directly affected by the incident, Japan cannot view it as someone else's problem. We must recognize it as a serious issue that concerns our own security. It is important for Japan to discuss the issue closely and continuously with the United States, a mutual ally of Japan and South Korea.

If South Korea brings the case to the U.N. Security Council, Japan should naturally extend the utmost cooperation toward adoption of a strict, effective resolution at the council and the formation of an international coalition against North Korea.

The important thing is to win the cooperation of China, which has a certain level of influence over North Korea. In that sense, the talks scheduled for next Saturday and Sunday between the foreign ministers of Japan, China and South Korea will be an important diplomatic forum. Hatoyama must align his steps with those of South Korea in persuading China.

(From The Yomiuri Shimbun, May 22, 2010)
(2010年5月22日01時16分  読売新聞)


« アネックスギフト | トップページ | セントラルワールドの放火には外国人が関与? »





« アネックスギフト | トップページ | セントラルワールドの放火には外国人が関与? »