Sunday 14 Aug 2022 | 16:29 | SYDNEY
Sunday 14 Aug 2022 | 16:29 | SYDNEY

Tokyo upset with our N policy too?


Sam Roggeveen


4 March 2010 14:45

East Asia Forum today carries a piece by Japanese academic Takashi Terada about Japanese Foreign Minister Katsuya Okada's recent visit to Australia. It ends like this:

Okada's visit to Australia last month might have been the first step towards this new-type of partnership between the two countries. But his frustration, plain for all to see on his face in the Japanese TV news broadcasts of the press conference in Perth with Stephen Smith  — who showed less enthusiasm for Okada’s nuclear disarmament vision than had Germany’s foreign minister — seemed more like the harbinger of ominous clouds over the prospects for his hoped-for diplomatic dawn in the relationship with Australia.

I can't comment on Okada's demeanour at the press conference since I haven't seen any footage, though he looks pretty relaxed in the DFAT photo above. 

More significantly, the joint statement on nuclear disarmament did contain some passages that would surely have encouraged Okada rather than frustrated him. In fact, the Asahi Shimbun editorial cited by Terada earlier in his piece makes a pretty good case that Smith and Okada made some progress.

Then there's the Japan Times, which says Smith and Okada 'bonded' on nuclear disarmament. And there is no hint of friction on nukes in this Japan Today summary of the press conference. So what am I missing?