July 04, 2006

Junichiro Koizumi


From AFP: Japanese media cool on Koizumi's rosy ties with Bush

Japan should seek a more mature relationship with the United States rather than one based on personal bonding, the country's media said after Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi's trip to Washington.

Koizumi displayed his media savvy by crooning Elvis Presley hits during a visit to Graceland with US President George W. Bush, with whom he has forged a close friendship over his five years in office.

But the Mainichi Shimbun newspaper said Japan's diplomacy should not be so dependent on the prime minister's personal ties.

"It was disappointing that Koizumi failed to make full use of his friendly Japan-US relationship on the real international scene," the newspaper said, bemoaning "Japan's failure" to win a permanent seat on the UN Security Council.

Tokyo failed to get a formal commitment of support from Washington for its bid to obtain a permanent seat on the Council, which was blocked by China.

The Mainichi said that failure had "exposed the limits of Koizumi's diplomacy, that depended on his personal relationship and lacked strategies".

One of Japan's leading dailies, Asahi Shimbun, praised Koizumi for tackling several thorny issues left over from previous administrations, including the controversial realignment of US troops stationed in Japan.

Posted by Forkum at July 4, 2006 10:35 PM