May 13

Update: The latest from Professor Michael Auslin

Here’s the latest from JET alum Michael Auslin, a professor of Japanese history and politics and currently the Director of Japanese Studies for the American Enterprise Institute in D.C.

  • Obama’s Hundred-Day Scorecard on Asia Policy

Grade: B

One step forward, two steps back. Secretary Clinton’s trip to Japan as the first stop on her diplomatic voyage was an important symbolic gesture to reassure Tokyo that Washington still values it as its key Asian ally and a proactive attempt to reengage Japan. However, the U.S. failure to make clear its commitment to defending Japanese territory prior to North Korea’s missile launch, compounded by its inability or unwillingness to secure a new resolution punishing Pyongyang’s provocation–the United States ultimately codrafted a presidential statement with the Chinese–left Japan feeling isolated. Furthermore, Tokyo and Washington face potentially troublesome days ahead fulfilling long-standing alliance agreements to restructure forces. Symbolic gestures will be no substitute for a firm working relationship built on shared interests.

Michael Auslin

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