Next stage in Futenma issue: praising the Japanese for doing what they were supposed to anyway.

I don’t bet outside of the stock market, but I’d put good money on that one from the U.S. Embassy.

Something like, “We thank our allies for their speedy resolution to this matter, and look forward to close ties in the future.” And said in a way that makes it seem like we’re interlopers here, rather than doing Japan a big favor militarily.

Once you’ve lived here a few years, you see a lot of the patterns. You get to know all the games.

Japan gets their ’96 deal—which itself was a great one—and we get to look like bullies who forced the deal on them. Then, have to respond with gratitude that the Japanese are agreeing to adhere to their end of the bargain (which the [Japanese] government will suggest is a forced submission).

I hope that any pronouncements out of the U.S. head honchos here (and that includes Ambassador Roos) are along the lines of: We appreciate that the Japanese government is adhering to the terms we as nations agreed to in 1996.