This one’s from yesterday.
If so, it would be quite a shift in tone from Ambassador Roos. The sense I got from John Roos’ appointment was that he was charged with working on a select set of issues with Japan, and that list was revised of course when the 3/11 disaster hit. But he didn’t seem like he was there to be a visible presence, the way the former “big name” appointments like Professor Edwin O. Reischauer,
SpeakerSenate Majority Leader Mike Mansfield, or Vice President Mondale were. [Or Speaker Foley, for that matter!]
As I was there for about half the first Obama Administration, I had hoped that the various, people issues, of which the spousal child kidnapping crisis is only the most visible, would be getting worked on. I’m sure they were. But I’m also sure that a bevy of stateside colleges got the U.S. embassy to make special “tomodachi” pitches to young Japanese that they should study in America. And that high tech businesses got their entree into the various government ministries to make their business interest arguments.
What’s best for the U.S.-Japan relationship as what’s best for those who get to partake of the Trans-Pacific Honey Pot of Business and Trade. That’s very much how it came across, and what you would expect if the Ambassador had to rely on the entrenched American business community in Japan. Pick up where Schieffer left off, basically. As money has been alleged to say in Washington, “Administrations come and go, but we’ll still be here!” when they aren’t getting their way with some representative.
Would Caroline Kennedy shake that coziness up a bit? Probably. A bit.