October 20, 2009

Japan, Australia Differ on U.S. Role in Asia

Peter Hartcher, Sydney Morning Herald

AP Photo

The good news for Kevin Rudd's proposal to create a new gathering of Asia-Pacific countries is that it's taking off. The idea, inspired by the successful integration of the long-warring states of Europe into the European Union, would start with a leaders'-level summit capable of dealing with the full gamut of problems.

The body Rudd imagines could address everything from people-smuggling, terrorism, trade wars and territorial disputes to food and fuel.

The bad news for Rudd is that the idea taking off is not necessarily the one he had in mind. When Rudd first pitched the concept of an ''Asia-Pacific Community'' in a speech in June last year, he described it as ''a regional institution which spans the entire Asia-Pacific region - including the United States, Japan, China,...

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TAGGED: Hatoyama, Kevin Rudd, Yukio Hatoyama, United States, Japan, New Zealand, Indonesia, China, South Korea, India, Asia-Pacific, Prime Minister, Europe, European Union, food

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