Japanese Prime Minister Abe

Japanese Prime Minister Abe

As we step into a new year, we have been witnessing President Obama’s vigorous operation of the government administration. There is an unseen atmosphere of confidence in President Obama’s appearance in the White House briefings. Many say that this change is due to the fact that many of the most sensitive and important economic issues for citizens have been dramatically improved under Obama’s administration. The decline in the unemployment rate and the progress of economic growth explain this well. Since this is the case, President Obama has been unabashedly taxing the rich and banks to move the money in this country to the middle class.

Such confidence in President Obama’s foreign policy is no exception. He is also taking a bold stance in handling the peace and stability in the Arab world. In addition, President Obama’s confidence does not yield to the pressure from the Jewish Americans, as exemplified by President Obama’s unwelcoming reaction towards the visit of Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu, which is scheduled for the first week of March. In fact, a number of top Democrats, including Vice President Joe Biden, have expressed that they will not be in attendance of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s speech to a joint session of Congress. Last week, the White House announced that President Obama will host Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and Chinese President Xi Jinping for state visits this year.

Prime Minister Abe, who was reelected to the position in December 2012, has been seeking for the longest time for an opportunity to pay an official visit to the United States. Meanwhile, knowing that Japan has support from the United States and the fact that the US-Japan alliance is absolutely critical, Prime Minster Abe has been irrational in his efforts to revise Japan’s past. Japan has caused a serious friction with China regarding its maritime borders, and has garnered severe criticism from Korea for its revisionist view of history, denying all of its atrocious war crimes, including the ‘comfort women’ issue. Additionally, Japan has also been unreasonable in its insistence of the ownership of Dokdo Island, thereby further amplifying the conflict and jeopardizing Korea-Japan relationship. There are political calculations underlying PM Abe’s illogical attempts—he is seeking the answer from Japan-US alliance. As China is becoming a threat to the United States with its overpowering presence, Japan is seeking to hold its place.

In 2006, Prime Minister Koizumi sought to address Congress, to the opposition of the Korean American community. Korean Americans across the country wrote to Chairman of the House Foreign Affairs Committee and asserted that we would welcome, if the Prime Minister vows never to visit Yasukuni Shrine again. Mr. Koizumi chose Yasukuni Shrine, giving up on the chance to speak before US Congress. Behind the dissolution of his speech was the Korean American community in Greater New York.

Prime Minister Abe is due to visit Washington as early as late April. Exactly 10 years after Prime Minister Koizumi’s visit, Mr. Abe also seeks to deliver a speech to Congress. The media outlets are busy covering his efforts.

To allow a speech at a joint session of Congress implies that the speaker’s leadership is approved in the United States. As such, Prime Minister Abe is bringing to the table a military strategy and trade pact, tailored to the White House’s liking, in exchange for the privilege of addressing US Congress. It is up to us Korean Americans to keep Mr. Abe from the speech, as he has relentlessly threatened the regional peace and refused to face the historic responsibilities. We Korean Americans must once again carry out a historic movement, with unified call for human rights, peace, and historic truth.

The time calls for a sharp awakening and undivided attention of our community. If you would like to join this movement, contact KACE right away.


Dongsuk Kim

Categories: Column / Opinion
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