August 9, 2010

Japan Rethinks Its Role in ASEAN

Kavi Chongkittavorn, China Post

AP Photo

This time last year, Japan's diplomacy created political tsunami with a new dynamic leadership and doctrine. Prevailing sentiment in the region was full of excitement and anticipation. It was all about Japan that paid more attention to fellow Asians and leaning less towards the U.S. As the enthusiasm was shaping up, the dream generated by the nine-month old maverick former Prime Minister Yukio Hatoyama government took a sudden dip and woke up to a new reality. Quite predictably it has a long and nightmarish consequence within the region, ASEAN in particular.

At the moment, Japan is full of anxiety that it has lost ASEAN, its long-time economic backyard or to use the preferred euphemism, economic partners. With the combined ...

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