Obama's Japan Headache

The Tokyo Foundation organized a dialogue with the US German Marshall Fund titled “What Does Japan Think?” in Tokyo in December 2009 with the aim of promoting mutual understanding among Japan, the United States, and Europe. Western journalists and others were invited to Japan to exchange views with Japanese opinion leaders and to deepen their understanding of the shifts taking place in Japan following last year’s change of government.

New York Times columnist Roger Cohen wrote the following article on how demands for an “equal partnership” from Japan and the uncertain future of the Futenma Air Station are leading to “unexpectedly sharp” troubles between the two countries after returning from his visit. (Published December 10, 2009)

President Obama has a Japan problem. I know, it’s not an issue that keeps him up at night. But when U.S. ties with its most important Asian ally get ugly over security rather than semiconductors, the world must be changing.

Roger Cohen

  • Colummnist, New York Times and
    International Herald Tribune