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Japan-India Summit

Japan-India Summit
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First Published: Tue, Aug 28 2007. 12 42 AM IST

Updated: Tue, Aug 28 2007. 12 42 AM IST
According to Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s value-driven diplomacy, Japan should cooperate with the United States, India and Australia. These are countries, he says, with which Japan shares fundamental values such as freedom and democracy...
One area boldly underscoring the differences in national interests is the issue of the civil nuclear agreement between India and the United States...
During the summit meeting, Singh sought Japan’s support (for) this accord. Abe stopped short of taking a clear stance on this issue... We find this response inscrutable. It is inexcusable for the Prime Minister of the only country to have suffered nuclear attacks to be so vague. Even the closest of friends must be reprimanded when the time is right. Isn’t it the role of Japan to clearly state that no concessions can be made on the issue of nuclear nonproliferation?...
Accent on morality
Generally speaking, the President’s reference to one’s moral obligation to stick to commitments is a sound and timely advice, especially viewed in the backdrop of the country’s current social milieu, which reflects a progressive decline in moral standards that adversely impacts every facet of life... But when General Musharraf utters these golden thoughts about moral obligation in the context of the Sharif family’s exile under commitment to the Saudi authorities, he seems to open a Pandora’s box... Moreover, if the President is not worried about the two brothers’ return to Pakistan... one fails to understand the rationale of taking up the matter with the Saudis...
It had better be resolved by ourselves and the Supreme Court has already pointed towards the way. In any case, agreements with foreign countries are not above the law of the land...
Would Apec really work?
Sydneysiders, who face a large part of their city centre being turned into a fortress and being subject to searches, identity checks and the like, may wonder what the ordeal of the Asia-Pacific Economic Co-operation (Apec) forum is all for...
Is it an organization steadily losing its diplomatic clout, as real discussion and negotiation shift to other forums?..
To some extent, the answers are yes, yes and yes...
Apec’s other purpose has been to pre-empt moves for a more exclusive east Asian bloc, confining trade benefits to its members and espousing “Asian” rather than universal values, by including a diversity of cultures including those of the New World... It would be helped, too, if Asia’s other great economic and cultural pole, India, were included, rather than allowing facile arguments about “balance” to get in the way.
Don’t fail Afghanistan
The United States is now at risk of “losing” Afghanistan, the predictable result of committing insufficient troops and money to that catastrophically failed state after the rout of the Taliban in 2001. US forces are suffering sharply higher casualties as Taliban fighters surge back in, and drug lords are coming to dominate the political and economic landscape. The collapse of the noble nation-building experiment in Afghanistan would destroy US credibility in the eyes of the world, shake global security and condemn millions of people to another generation of warfare and terrorism. And it would be all the more devastating if accompanied by US defeat in Iraq...
Nation-building will never be easy or cheap, and the American people may wish to make future commitments more sparingly. But the Afghan people want the international help they’ve been promised. We owe it to them—and to ourselves—to try harder.
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First Published: Tue, Aug 28 2007. 12 42 AM IST