Shinzo Abe, Japan’s Prime Minister of the month, is meeting with President Obama. This is the fifth PM from Japan that Obama has met with. It won’t be the last.
Japan has a few useless islands that China is trying to get by force. Abe wants the U.S. to back Japan in keeping these islands. “Let’s you and him fight.”
He is also concerned that North Korea keeps launching missiles. “Tell them to stop.”
He is pretending that Japan just might sign a deal that lets U.S. farmers export food to Japan. “Back us up, and maybe we’ll let you fatten us up.” Japan’s farmers, who could not compete successfully against an American 4H club, will veto that deal, just as they have ever since 1946.
America pays for Japan’s defense because (1) we need Japan to keep useless islands away from China, and (2) we need a port for our carriers, so that the boys can let off a little steam on shore leave.
Japan encourages this so that it can keep corporate taxes low, so that Japan’s export sector can bankrupt American firms, which pay taxes to defend Japan.
Americans call Asians inscrutable. Japan’s politicians sound pretty scrutable to me. “Back us up this time, and we’ll let your businesses have access to our markets.” Wink, wink.
This has worked ever since 1946. There is no good reason to believe it won’t work again.