Trump Transition: "It's a Chance," Says Defense Minister Inada
Japan is uneasy at what follows the undue entrance of Donald Trump in the international political scene, but here is a key minister in the Abe administration who thinks otherwise: Defence Minister Tomomi Inada - the revered female politician with healthy conservatism.
Minister Inada told the press in an interview November 11 morning that Donald Trump now offers a chance for Japan to provide for its own national defense, cement the Japan-US Alliance, and further partnership with its partners.
She was commenting on Trump's earlier statements during the presidential election in which he asked for added contribution by the allies. Her statement is interpreted as meaning it's high time Japan reexamined its own national defense including beefing up defense capabilities.
On Trump's call throughout the presidential election for an increase in Japan's host nation support, Inada said in clear terms that Japan is already shouldering what it should and refused to comment "as superficial" on what if President Trump actually came forward with such a demand.
Defence Minister Inada further reiterated on the host nation support issue, stressing on the role of 52,000 strong US armed forces stationed in Japan thus:
"We earnestly hope the ongoing Japan-US alliance to further deepen and develop in the course of partnership with the Trump administration."
In other words, Minister Inada meant to expect that the mutual alliance package be kept as it stands and Japan pay no more in host nation support. Personally, I'm inclined to support Minister Inada commenting as a sound conservative as I believe Donald Trump appears to have so much to catch up with on matters of Japan-US mutual alliance - including the question of host nation support.
That said, the point is that Japan is helplessly short of information and wisdom on the super-mega political earthquake named "Trump". Let's cross our fingers and hope for the best. (Nathan Shiga)