Sunday, June 13, 2010

“Pressurized” Leadership

“Pressurized” Leadership
By Erick San Juan

Now that the whole nation got hold of its wits after a roller coaster ride via AES, all of us are now trying to digest the outcome of the recent elections from the highest to the lowest position in government. After the official proclamation of the President and Vice President by the joint Congress, this country is all set for a fresh start come June 30, 2010. On second thought, it depends if the incoming administration will stick to its promises.
When it comes to international relations through our nation’s foreign policy, every time a new administration is installed, the global community is closely watching and a new set of guidelines especially from close allies is "whispered". (This could be the reason for the premature congratulatory visits from the representatives of some close “friends”.)
Such event occurred in Japan when the nine-month old administration of Prime Minister Yukio Hatoyama ended when he resigned last June 2 after citing confusion over the relocation of the United States Marine Corps air station on Okinawa as the main reason. It was reported that the recently elected mayor of Nago - Susumu Inamine, an independent, and ran with the support of Hatoyama's ruling Democratic Party, used the issue of the US marine base relocation as its rallying point during the campaign. The result of the said election made PM Hatoyama to re-assess the 2006 Tokyo - Washington agreement on the base relocation that ended with his resignation as Prime Minister. The Okinawa base is not the only promise Hatoyama and his Democratic Party of Japan have failed to keep. Most campaign pledges of the DPJ remain unrealized including the party’s promise of "change" and clean-up of Japanese politics. Pressure from those who voted for Hatoyama and his party (maybe from Washington too) made Ichiro Ozawa quit as DPJ’s secretary-general and who was allegedly involved in financial and corruption scandals.
Then came Japanese Finance Minister Naoto Kan who is now the country's fifth prime minister within four years following his selection last June 4 as leader of the Democratic Party of Japan (DPJ) to succeed Hatoyama. Prime Minister Kan, 63 years old, is said to be pro-US and might end up giving in to Washington’s “request” on the base relocation. Meaning, this change of leadership will make up for a win-win solution for the Japanese as well as for its “long-time ally”. There is no other solution for the pressure is too strong and the much needed US base is crucial for Washington in its geopolitical game in this very important region.
Back home, the new leadership has so much to offer and promises that must be kept in order to survive for six years without interruptions. Although the “friendly visits” might be perceived as pressure and translated as foreign interference, the new administration should learn from the mistakes of the Japanese and show its firm commitment to the Filipino people with or without the “pressure”. I repeat, U.S. is not our enemy but we have to get what's due us. We must all work for the success of the incoming administration and be vigilant at all times.

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