A Time to Fight?

As the nuclear standoff in North Korea continues, the mixed messages emanating from Tokyo have become ever more confusing. Last week, Foreign Ministry assistant press secretary Jiro Okuyama outlined Japan's moves to solve the crisis. "We are trying to build up solidarity and cooperation in the international arena," said Okuyama. In fact, the spokesman declared, Japan's Foreign Minister was scheduled to meet South Korea's President and President-elect the next day to hash out the issue.

But at exactly the same moment when Okuyama was promoting Japan's multilateralism, Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi was across town paying his respects...

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