Six More Months—Japanese government postpones base decision until November
Reuters reports that the Japanese government has postponed its decision on new U.S. base construction until November.
Japan will postpone a deadline for resolving a row over relocating a US base by up to half a year to November, abandoning Prime Minister Yukio Hatoyama's original end-May target, the daily Sankei Shimbun said on Saturday.Perhaps Japanese lawmakers will take this additional time to also discuss whether Japanese taxpayers can afford to continue subsidizing U.S. military expansion projects in Japan and Guam; U.S. military escalation in Afghanistan; and undertaking its own overseas military expansion (in violation of Article 9 of Japan's Peace Constitution) in Djibouti, Africa.
The decision will be conveyed to the US side as early as next week, the paper said, while Kyodo news agency reported diplomatic sources saying US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton would visit Japan on May 21 to discuss the base issue...
Hatoyama's Democratic Party needs a decisive win in the upper house vote expected in July to enact laws smoothly as Japan struggles to keep a recovery on track while reining in massive public debt.
The Sankei Shimbun said, citing unnamed government officials, that the postponement decision was made at a meeting on Friday of cabinet ministers including Foreign Minister Katsuya Okada and Chief Cabinet Secretary Hirofumi Hirano as well as Hatoyama.
Analysts have said the next reasonable deadline after the end of May would be November, when US President Barack Obama will visit Japan for an Asia-Pacific leaders summit.