• 2017.04.30 Sunday
  • -
  • -
  • -
  • by スポンサードリンク


Calling Their Bluffs:Donald trump


 On April 6th, the U.S. launched a military strike against the Asad regime. Different from Barack Obama, Donald Trump is resolute and decisive. The next target will be North Korea. Kim Jong-un must be trembling now.   


 On the 4th, at least 80 people were killed by an attack in a province controlled by an alliance of rebel groups in northern Syria. Autopsy results have reportedly revealed that chemical weapons were used in the attack in violation of international law. President Trump ordered measured Tomahawk missile strikes on a Syrian airbase in response to the chemical weapons massacre.   


 During the 4th Middle East War in 1973, North Korea sent troops to Syria. Since then, the two nations have strengthened their military relationship. North Korea has sold missiles and other weapons to Syria. In 2007, Israel conducted a surprise attack on nuclear facilities in northern Syria which were reportedly constructed with North Korean assistance for the purpose of obtaining material to a nuclear bomb.   


 North Korea has repeatedly launched missiles to demonstrate its military capability. However, it is unlikely to be a deterrent to the Trump administration. On the contrary, such provocation will infuriate Donald Trump.   


 Secretary of State Rex Tillerson commented, “North Korea launched yet another intermediate range ballistic missile. The United States has spoken enough about North Korea. We have no further comment.” And, President Trump declared that he would be willing to go it alone to restrain North Korea’s nuclear weapons program should China fail to alleviate the situation.  


 The Abe cabinet re-stationed its ambassador to South Korea after having been called back in January over “Comfort Women” statue. Ambassador Yasumasa Nagamine already met with Vincent Brooks, commander of U.S. forces in South Korea, on how to cope with North Korea. There are around 20,000 Japanese citizens in South Korea. I am happy Prime Minister Abe has established a firm relationship with President Trump.  


 I don't believe that the abducted Japanese will be brought home until North Korea collapses. I believe the same is true for other abductees from foreign countries. The U.S.’s Tomahawks can strike targets with pinpoint accuracy using advanced guidance system. I hope that the abductees won’t be injured and all of them will be returned to their homelands.



Clinton’s Blunder, Trump’s Remedy


 President Donald Trump has been criticized not only in the U.S. but also globally. However, if you read “Crouching TigerWhat China’s Militarism Means for the World” written by Peter Navarro, you will understand his trade policy, at least toward China.  


 Although former President Bill Clinton did help bring the U.S. out of recessions and spurred the American economy in the short term, in reality, he is to blame for having devastated the U.S. in the long term, and fostered the Chinese regime to become a military threat to Asia.  


 Then-President Clinton helped nominate China to become a full member of the World Trade Organization (WTO) in 2001, giving up the U.S.’s leverage of “most favored nation trade status”. And, during 2002, China’s trade increased by 22%. China’s economic development itself was very good, especially for Chinese citizens. And, China has grown into a significant economy, which has helped fuel the global economy at large.  


 However, Clinton’s supporters started to relocate their production to China. As a result, as many as 70,000 factories were closed in the U.S. The number of unemployed and underemployed workers numbered more than 25 million. The U.S.’s trade deficit surged to yearly 300 billion dollars.  


 At first, the world expected China to follow global rules, and that more prosperous China would develop into a peaceful democratic nation. As you can see now, it was an illusion. On the contrary, China developed into a military menace with economic power.  


 Boeing, Caterpillar, General Electric, General Motors, etc. offered dual-use technologies to China in exchange for business licenses in China. Such technologies were diverted to improve the Chinese military. French, British and German corporations also exported military products to China under the guise of commercial use. Now, Chinese submarines and frigates are equipped with German diesel engines.  


 In the 1990s during the Clinton administration, China stole American missile secrets. China already has intercontinental ballistic missiles (ICBMs) that can reach the U.S. Lenin said, “The Capitalists will sell us the rope which we will hang them.”  


 The Japanese government is also to blame for its Official Development Assistance (ODA) of 3.655 trillion yen (about 33 billion USD) to China since 1979. Such generous assistance must have contributed to China’s military expansion. 


 Peter Navarro insists on decreasing dependence on Chinese products in order to decelerate China’s military expansion. Meanwhile, the U.S. and its allies can revive economic growth and increase their relative power.  


 The most important alliance is the one between the U.S. and Japan. Therefore, President Trump heartily welcomed Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe. And, the Abe Cabinet steadily takes steps to strengthen the U.S.-Japan alliance, such as establishing a system to detain suspected terrorists before they have an opportunity to carry out an attack. 


 I hope that the Trump-Abe alliance will deter China from encroaching into the East and South China Seas, and guarantee the free navigation there.  


Spring has come to Japan


 The world is on the edge. In particular, North Korea might launch nuclear-tipped missiles at any time. On the other hand, Japan is internally enjoying a hopeful spring. I do appreciate the Abe Cabinet.   


 In Japan, students enter schools in April, and graduate in March. 90.6% of collage graduates have landed a job as of the end of January. This is the highest rate since 2000. The rate dropped to 77.4% in 2011, but has consecutively improved for 6 years. Also, 94.0% of high-school graduates have landed a job. The rate has improved for 7 consecutive years. Some industries and many small and mid-sized companies are suffering from labor shortages. The Japanese economy has completely recovered from the recession triggered by the Lehman Shock.   


 Japan’s national Police Agency released on the 16th that the number of yakuza members has shrunk to about 18,100 as of the end of the last year, a decrease of some 2,000 from the previous year. This is the smallest number since 1958 when the statistics were launched. Because the Abe Cabinet legally squeezed yakuza syndicates, they became unable to earn enough money to continue their operations. Also, companies and private sectors can now take a square stance toward them in accordance with the law. In terms of the crime rate, Japan is the safest nation in the world. I believe that Japan’s public safety will improve further.   


 In South Korea, the presidential election will probably take place on May 9th. Its most promising candidate Moon Jae-in insists on nullifying the 2015 agreement on comfort women in which Japan’s government consented to compensate South Korean victims whereas South Korea agreed to demand no more compensation after the treaty. However, U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson visited Japan and held a press conference on the 16th, stating, “We encourage both sides to approach that agreement in honest, and sincere efforts to bring this to a conclusion.” Japan has already fulfilled its duty. Whoever becomes the next South Korean president, he will have to honor the agreement.


 Last month, U.S. Defense Secretary James Mattis visited Japan and articulated, “ the Senkaku islands are administered by Japan and therefore fall with the scope of Article 5 of the U.S.-Japan Security Treaty.” This month, Mr. Tillerson also reaffirmed that the islands are covered by article 5 of the U.S.-Japan Security Treaty, which obliges the United States to defend Japanese territories. With the support from the U.S., China won’t be able to invade the Senkaku Islands.   


 Prime Minister Shinzo Abe has set up a firm relationship with the Trump administration. It’s a sad reality that Japan cannot safeguard its citizens and territory by itself. Mr. Abe realizes the fact and hence he is trying to rebuild Japan as a real “independent” nation. I will continue to support the Abe Cabinet.                          

Catch 22:Donald Trump


 President Donald Trump has been criticizing China for its currency manipulation. However, China is currently interfering with the foreign exchange market not to depreciate the renminbi to fuel exports but to appreciate the renminbi’s value. And, Donald Trump might have to yield to China as the former Obama administration did.   


 China’ s renminbi has been weakening since August 2015 due to the deceleration of the Chinese economy. Since then, U.S. dollar-based insurance in Hong Kong has caught on among Chinese who worry about the stability of the renminbi. Chinese are now buying up real estate in Western countries and Japan, artwork, premium wines, etc., converting Chinese yuan to valuable items.    


 In order to curb the outflow of the renminbi, the Chinese government only allows Chinese citizens to hold 50,000 U.S. dollars per person. Nonetheless, the outflow has not decelerated. Despite China’s foreign exchange intervention, the exchange rate of the renminbi to the U.S. dollar has depreciated by 6.6% during 2016, the largest loss since 1994. And, China’s foreign currency reserves plummeted from 4 trillion dollars in June 2014 to 3 trillion dollars as the end of January this year, a plunge of 1 trillion dollars in a little over 2 and half years.   


 If China stops intervening in the currency exchange markets, the renmnbi will weaken further, which will fuel China’s exports.   


 If China continues to sell U.S. bonds to intervene in the currency exchange market, the prices of American bonds will decrease and interest rates will rise in the U.S. Then, investment money will flood into the U.S. and the U.S. dollar will strengthen, which hinder American exports.   


 President Trump plans large-scale infrastructure investment and tax cuts. In order to implement his policies, the U.S. has to issue a large number of U.S. bonds. Who will buy those bonds?  


 After the Lehman Shock in 2009, the Obama Cabinet issued national bonds to implement a large-scale stimulus package. Then-Treasury Secretary Geitner visited China and asked then-President Hu Jintao to continue to purchase U.S. bonds, ignoring China’s currency manipulation.   


 As of the end of last year, China owned 1.058 trillion dollars of U.S. bonds following Japan at 1.098 trillion dollars. Without Japan and China, the U.S. cannot sustain its finances. In fact, the U.S. was on the verge of default in October 2013. China has been utilizing its economic power as an economic weapon against the U.S.  


 It is well known that Japan depends on the U.S. in terms of defense. On the other hand, the U.S. depends on Japan financially. The Abe Cabinet should consider whether or not it should continue to purchase U.S. bonds.   



U.S. Troops from Okinawa to Taiwan


 On January 17th, John Bolton, a former U.S. ambassador to the United Nations, wrote a contributing article in The Wall Street Journal arguing that the U.S. troops could move its troops stationed in Okinawa to Taiwan as a response to protests in Japan and to Chinese “belligerence.” I’m all for his idea. I hope that the U.S. forces deployed in Okinawa will not be partially but rather completely relocated to Taiwan.   


 There have been protests against U.S. forces in Okinawa, by local Okinawans, left-leaning Japanese citizens, and resident-Koreans and Chinese. It’s a fact that the marines frequently commit atrocious crimes such as rape. However, I believe that the majority of the protestors are pro-Chinese and acting in sympathy with China. Unfortunately for them, the move to Taiwan would be pressure to China.   


 On the other hand, most Okinawans are aware of the need of the U.S. forces. Fishermen often have to refrain from going fishing in the vicinity of the Senkaku Islands because Chinese vessels encroach on Japanese territory. Many Okinawans are employed at U.S. bases. The landowners can earn rent because the U.S. bases are stationed on their land. And, the local governments can acquire subsidies from the Japanese government because U.S. troops are deployed in Okinawa. In reality, many of them “protest” against U.S. forces as a negotiation tactic to receive more support from the Japanese government.   


 The Japanese government offers Okinawa subsidies (in reality, a slush-fund) of over 300 billion yen (around 3 billion USD). In addition, Japan indirectly contributes to salaries of the Okinawans employed in the U.S. bases even though they are not required to do so in accordance with the Japan-U.S. Security Treaty.   


 If the U.S. forces are completely relocated to Taiwan, Japan can save a lot of money. There would be no more marines in Okinawa who commit crimes. Okinawa residents won’t be bothered by the fighter jets any more. The landowners will get back their land but won’t earn rent. The Okinawan employees at the U.S. bases will be fired. And, the local governments wouldn’t be offered hefty amounts of subsidies any more.   


 On February 3rd, the new Defense Secretary James Mattis met Prime Minister Abe in Tokyo, and confirmed that the Senkaku Islands fall under Article 5 of the Japan-U.S. Security Treaty. Even if U.S. forces completely move to Taiwan, I believe that Japan should shoulder some of the financial burden of deploying U.S. troops in Taiwan. The U.S. forces are required as a deterrent to Chinese aggression not only for the Senkaku Islands but also the peaceful navigation in the South China Sea.   


 Moreover, Japan should split the relocation costs to Taiwan. The move from Okinawa is very beneficial for Japan. As a taxpayer, I hope that the U.S. troops will completely be relocated from Okinawa to Taiwan as soon as possible.   

A Prosperous Japan vs. A Declining South Korea


 The Japanese economy is prospering. As a result, the Abe Cabinet remains popular. On the other hand, the South Korean economy is in recession. In addition, President Park Geun-hye has been impeached and effectively removed from office. South Korea is now on the verge of economic collapse.   


 After the Lehman Shock, the Japanese yen appreciated, which devastated the Japanese economy. Many workers were laid off, and new graduates faced a tremendous difficulty finding a job. However, since Shinzo Abe was inaugurated as prime minister, the strong yen moderated, and the Japanese economy has recovered moderately.   


 Currently, Japan’s employment situation is so good that some industries suffer from labor shortages. Graduates can now easily land a job. Last spring, the employment rate for collage graduates marked its highest ever percentage of 97.3%. As of December 1st, 85% of students graduating this March received tentative job offer, which is higher than the previous year. Similarly, 87% of high-school graduates seeking a work after graduation received tentative job offer, which also surpasses the previous year. This spring, the employment rate of both collage and high-school graduates will surpass last year’s number.   


 On the other hand, in South Korea, the employment situation is the worst it has ever been. The South Korean government announced on January 11th that the number of its unemployment was 1,012,000 and the unemployment rate under 30 years old hit a record high of 9.8%. However, the Yonhap News reported on January 23rd that the number of real unemployed was 4,538,000, which equals nearly 4.5 times that of the official statistic.   


 The South Korean economy is greatly dependent on China. Since South Korea agreed to deploy THAAD, to which China was strongly opposed, China started impose sanctions against South Korea, expelling South Korean products and limiting travel to South Korea. Chinese accounted for nearly half (47%) of the tourists in South Korea, but a plummeting number of Chinese tourists visit there now. The Chinese New Year started from January 27th, and during the 7 days off, over 6 million Chinese are expected to ravel abroad. As, a destination, however, South Korea is ranked 7th, dropping from 3rd last year, whereas Japan is ranked 2nd, next to Thailand.   


 President Park took an aggressive stance toward Japan, and the currency swap agreement with Japan discontinued February 2015. And, the currency swap with China might expire in coming October if China refuses to extend it. Without the currency swaps, there is a reasonable probability that Korean won will crash and South Korean will go into default again.   


 Most Japanese and other citizens of developed countries didn’t care that  South Korea went into default in 1997 because it had hardly any implications on the global economy. I believe that the Abe Cabinet should maintain a resolute position toward South Korea and let Korans reap what they sow.   


Putin Triumphed over Abe


 On December 16th, at a press conference, Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and Russian President Vladimir Putin jointly announced a cooperative economic activity for the Northern Territory. Japan will contribute 300 billion yen (more than 2.5 billion USD) to the program. Russia’s contribution, if any, was not announced. There was no reference to the territorial dispute. The talks ended in Putin’s triumph.     


 Originally, the Ainu occupied the Northern Territory. A map made by the Edo Shogunate in 1644 already made a claim to not only the Northern Territory but also the Kuril Islands and Karafuto (Sakhalin). And, a formal map made in 1854 also claimed the same territory.    


 In 1855, Japan concluded a friendship treaty with the Russian Empire, defining a boundary between the Northern Territory and the upper Kuril islands.    


 In 1875, under the pressure of the Russian Empire, an exchange treaty was concluded, in which Karafuto (Sakhalin) was granted to the Russian Empire and all the Kuril islands to Japan.    


 During the World War 2, Japan and Soviet Union signed a nonaggression pact. Japan surrendered on August 15th, 1945. Nevertheless, the U.S.S.R. invaded the Northern Territory on August 28th even though the pact was valid until April 25th, 1946. Since then, Russian has dominated the Northern Territory.    


 From the viewpoint of inter national law, I believe that Japan has bona fide sovereignty over the Northern Territory. The Japanese government should consistently insist on bringing the territorial dispute before the International Court of Justice no matter how many times Russia refuses to do so.    


 Prime Minister Abe announced that the “cooperative” economic activity would be performed under a special system, neither under Russian law nor Japanese law. On the other hand, President Putin insists on carrying it out under Russian law. The Abe Cabinet must not yield the management to Putin.                             


 On the 15th, the European Union announced its economic sanctions against Russia will extend at least until the end of July, 2017. The oil price is hovering just above 50 USD per barrel. As the Russian ruble has depreciated, commodity prices have risen. Average Russians are suffering.    


 The problem is President-elect Donald Trump. If he adopts a Russian-friendly policy as is expected by some, the trend might change. Both Putin and Trump are nationalistic and stubborn. I don’t believe that they will get along.    


 For the time being, the Abe Cabinet should stall for time by postponing the “cooperative” economic activity until Russia’s geopolitical standing becomes clearer.    


Japan and the U.S.:a win-win relationship


 President-elect Donald Trump had talks with Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe at Trump Tower in New York on November 17th, taking priority over European leaders. Reportedly, Mr. Trump predicted that the Abe Cabinet would last longer than most European administrations. In fact, French President, Francois Hollande, decided not to run for the coming presidential election in April. Donald Trump is a very competent businessman. I hope that Prime Minister Abe will form a relationship of trust with the next U.S. president.   


 After Mr. Trump was elected as the next president, American stock markets boomed, intermittently pushing against and breaking records. In addition, the employment situation is improving. The unemployment rate in November was 4.6%, a decrease of 0.3% from the previous month, which was the lowest number since August 2007, prior to the Lheeman Shock. The Fed will hold a meeting on the 13th and 14th. They are expected to raise the interest rate for the first time in 1 year.   


 Owing to the robust American economy, the Japanese yen weakened vis-à-vis dollar, and Japan’s stock prices soared. When the Fed raises its interest rate, the Japanese economy will further benefit.   


 Japan’s employment situation is also good. The unemployed rate in October was only 3.0%, which means virtually full employment. The OECD calculated Japan’s unemployed rate for 15 to 24 years olds in 2015 to be 5.3%, the lowest among major countries. Even in 2007, prior to the Lheeman Shock, that rate was 7.9%.   


 Based on the present economy, the Abe Cabinet is highly supported. According to a survey conducted by the Kyodo News Service on November 26th and 27th, its approval rating was 60.7%, an increase of 6.8% from October, whereas its disapproval rating was 30.4%, a decrease of 2.8%. It was the first time to show an approval rating of over 60% since October 2013.   


 I believe that the American and Japanese economies are currently in a win-win situation.   


 Both Prime Minister Abe and president-elect Trump look out for their own countries. I believe they can trust each other. I hope that they will construct a win-win relationship for both Japan and the U.S.  


A More Resolute Abe Cabinet


  Supported by the majority (62%) of Japanese citizens, the Abe Cabinet remains stable. And, his supporters hope that the cabinet will take a more resolute stance to secure Japan’s national interests.                  


  According to a survey conducted by the Nikkei Shimbun and TV Tokyo form August 26th through the 28th, 62% of the 1,055 respondents approved of the Abe Cabinet whereas only 27% disapproved. And, 55% believed that Japan should take a more resolute stance toward china, which has repeatedly crossed into Japan’s territorial waters in the vicinity of the Senkaku Islands.      


  59% hoped that Shinzo Abe would continue to be the prime minister through the Tokyo Olympics in 2020. Prime Minister Abe is popular among Japanese citizens even though China and South Korea criticize him as being a militant.


  Regarding the territorial negotiations with Russia over the Northern Territories, 54% hoped that a part of the four inlands would be returned whereas 36% believed all the islands should be returned. I support the latter opinion.    


  Prime Minister Abe is scheduled to have talks with Russian President Vladimir Putin on December 15th. However, I believe that Japan should not negotiate with Russia for the time being because waiting would better serve Japan’s interests. There is a reasonable chance that Russia would go into default again if the oil price remains sluggish for a prolonged period. When Russia went into default in 1998, some Russians primarily those living in the Northern Territories desperately insisted that Russia should return the Northern Territory to Japan. Slow and steady will win the race.      



◆■■■◆◆ 泉 ユキヲの 国際派時事コラム ◆◆■■■◆







■「金額で決裂」だけは、まずい ■







■ 諸外国も「飛び火」は勘弁してくれと ■








■ もっとだいじなことがある ■





◆◆ 後記 ◆ ◆


「え? 安倍さんが韓国に譲歩? 敗北? んなわけないでしょ(笑)」




 「慰安婦」を a sex slave と呼ばないことを韓国政府も







骨のある人材は、もはや? ≫




■主宰  泉 ユキヲ(いずみ・ゆきお Izumi Yukio)



<< April 2018 >>
sponsored links
selected entries
recent comment
search this site.
無料ブログ作成サービス JUGEM