Mr. Hatoyama, where is our apology?

Japan Times coverage

Prime Minister Hatoyama has been apologizing to anyone in earshot down in Okinawa over the weekend. But so far, the United States has neither received or sought one for ourselves.

I notice on Japan Today, Kyodo is reporting that Mrs. Clinton has made a statement about the ruling party’s decision here. Mrs. Clinton said:

‘‘I know how hard Prime Minister Hatoyama’s decision was, and I thank him for his courage and determination to fulfill his commitments,’’ Clinton told reporters in Beijing, where she is visiting for the two-day U.S.-China Strategic and Economic Dialogue in Beijing through Tuesday. ‘‘This is truly the foundation for our future work as allies in the Asia-Pacific region.’’

Back on May 9th, before any of this broke, I said the response would come from the Embassy, and sound something like this:

“We thank our allies for their speedy resolution to this matter, and look forward to close ties in the future.”

But I said it would probably be said in a way that still makes us seem like the Japanese had a credible claim to paint us as interlopers, rather than valued allies. Mrs. Clinton, though, is someone with a reputation for straight-talk and no-holds-barred, so the statement coming from her probably means she stuck it to both Hatoyama and Ozawa about the anti-Americanism that both those gentlemen encouraged in the last ten months.

I just wish someone had caught her on mike, when after the event was over, going, “hey buddy, where’s our apology?”

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