is not going to be happy about this:
In a meeting Monday on the sidelines of the Nuclear Security Summit in Washington, Hatoyama told Hu he will seek cooperation from China, South Korea and the Association of Southeast Asian Nations in forming the envisaged regional community, with Japan and China making up its “core part,” the official said.
First Australia, and now Japan wanting to undermine ASEAN leadership….
To be fair I think the point that ASEAN advocates make in regards to ASEAN for all its weaknesses is still the forum doing the best job at regional integration (or at least providing the most neutral site for discussion about regional integration) – and other pretenders to regional leadership need to show that they can get on with other members before trying to take this mantle- but if at any point SK, China and Japan can even feint a good working relationship then it is going to be hard to make the argument that this bloc with both its economic, technological and human power should not be the core of an East Asian Community. This is the key problem with ASEAN’s informal and consensual approach – yes it might be the best we can hope for currently since a rules-based regime is not going to happen anytime soon, but equally, it is easy to displace.
I am encouraged that Japan and China are looking at the climate issue – Japan has an important duty to influence China in this regard as I think most of the Western powers in their reaction to Copenhagen probably did not help their cause in terms of trying to have ongoing influence over China on this issue. Japan being a technological leader in climate change mitigation technology, and with China reaching out to Japan in this way as seen later in the article, is likely a very good sign.
Anyhow, this goodwill could all be undone very quickly as we know – especially with the success that Tachiagare Nippon is going to have with the exciting, rising and enthusiastic tide of nationalist sentiment they are going to capitalize on….