An update to the Kevin Maher situation. As you may remember, Kevin Maher was the State Department official who allegedly was too blunt in comments that he had made concerning the Futenma/Okinawa standoff with the U.S. military bases.
Mr. Maher has now landed with a consultancy set up by the well-connected Republican Japan hand Richard Lawless.
This is good to see. As you may know, the comments made at the American University gathering in Washington were not transcribed. Whatever had been said, was said in the off-the-cuff fashion, that could be contextualized in any number of ways. The gist seemed to be that America was getting played. Well, how are we (the general public) supposed to know if Japan is playing us, if no one says?
Having spent close to half-a-dozen years in Japan (Saturday would have been the 6th anniversary), I am keenly interested in these sorts of things. It sounded to me that, despite the rough edges of the purported commentary, the general impression being relayed by Mr. Maher was spot-on.
I notice, too, from his bio, that he was not a JET (Japan Exchange Teacher). He got involved in Asia before the JET era, and so, I feel, he was more objective about bilateral relations.
Apparently, the DPJ’s Edano was not too happy that Maher was immediately back dealing with the officials in Japan, through the new agency.
“In Tokyo on Thursday, Chief Cabinet Secretary Yukio Edano confirmed Maher made a private call on special adviser Tadashi Maeda and complained the visit could be give the impression Maher is dealing with Japan. He told Maeda to be more prudent.”
But this just goes to show that there are these trans-Pacific connections that the average American doesn’t know a damn thing about—and I put myself in that category, too. Many Japanese who go off on America, like this fellow in particular [see link], get to land on their feet. Why not Maher?