Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida (right) and British Prime Minister Boris Johnson shake hands before their meeting at 10 Dowing Street Office in London on May 5, 2022. Photo: AFP
The Ukrainian crisis and the geopolitical tragedy it unleashed are not enough to kill the hunger of the United States and some Western countries to derive political benefit from the situation. Visiting Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida and his British counterpart Boris Johnson agreed on Thursday in principle to a reciprocal access agreement between Japan’s Self-Defense Forces and the British military. According to a statement from Johnson’s office, the deal is a “historic defense partnership” and will strengthen “the UK’s commitment to the Indo-Pacific”. Meanwhile, Kishida made sensational remarks that “Ukraine could be the East Asia of tomorrow”, saying now is the time for the major G7 nations to cement their unity.
All this ostentatious talk reveals a dangerous trend: NATO, which has divided Europe and waged wars all over the world, is trying to apply the tricks of “bloc politics” and “confrontation between camps” to the Asia-Pacific region. For a long time, the UK has repeatedly propagated “Nato globalization” and the “need to anticipate threats in the Indo-Pacific” and ensure that the island of Taiwan “is capable to defend themselves”. In the Asia-Pacific region, Japan is unusually active in restoring such a program. It seems that Tokyo wants to be the “treacherous guide” to NATO’s expansion in the Asia-Pacific region.
The United States is undoubtedly at the origin of this trend. In recent years, Washington has pushed its allies to coordinate with its strategy of looking east. Some countries are ready to follow suit, even if they all have their own calculations on this issue. London aims to regain its waning influence by “plotting the way” for Washington. Japan wants to take advantage of American connivance to break the “chains” of the pacifist constitution and resuscitate its militarism. The Ukrainian crisis is “good food” for some politicians who have constantly raised their voices and acted to create regional tensions.
It should be noted that Japan was very excited after the outbreak of the Ukrainian crisis. Recently, the Prime Minister, Minister of Foreign Affairs and Minister of Defense of Japan engaged in diplomatic activities in neighboring countries, Europe and the United States. Nevertheless, the Asian countries which received Japanese officials remained vigilant in the face of Tokyo’s remarks and hesitated to echo Japan. It was only in the UK, which wants to regain its glory, that Kishida felt the “warmth of a friend”. This will easily recall the Anglo-Japanese Alliance in the 20th century.
Asian countries have different systems and cultures. They also have historical and realistic disputes. But they have maintained a generally stable situation over the past few decades because they have sought common ground while putting aside differences. With a vision beyond ideological and geopolitical differences, Asian countries have engaged in pragmatic cooperation in the era of globalization. These have made Asia the most vital and dynamic region in the world and made the “Asian Century” an enduring topic of discussion in the international strategic sphere.
Some people want to cooperate with the United States and the West and forcefully introduce the “security model” that failed in Europe and caused serious consequences in Asia-Pacific. Isn’t this an intention to undermine regional peace and stability? The European security “crash” proves that the US-led NATO system does not fit the current era. Those countries that speak of “Ukraine could be the East Asia of tomorrow” are full of personal and serious interests in reproducing one or more Ukrainian crises in other regions. Asian countries must remain on high alert.
History has repeatedly shown that the security of one country cannot be based on the insecurity of other countries. Dividing the countries of the region between those inside the alliance and those outside the alliance can only create more insecurity, where countries are immersed in the paradox and the trap of being vigilant and hostile. towards each other. The NATO military bloc is a poison, not an antidote, to security concerns and tensions in the region. The good situation in Asia must not be ruined by a “new cold war”. Vigilance and rejection of “NATO expansion in Asia-Pacific” should become the strong consensus and collective conscience of all countries in the region.
We would also like to emphasize that we hope Japan will not undermine the general environment conducive to peace and development in the region. Such an act of “inviting the wolf into the room” will harm others and harm himself. History has taught us a profound lesson.