America Abroad: Japan and the Vision Thing

Japan and the Vision Thing

TOKYO

Prime Minister Toshiki Kaifu is apprehensive about his scheduled meeting with George Bush in New York City this week. Both men know that many Americans want Japan to play a larger role in the Persian Gulf. After the Iraqi invasion of Kuwait, Kaifu's government dithered for nearly a month before offering $1 billion to help finance the multilateral response. "Contemptible tokenism!," harrumphed Senator John McCain, an Arizona Republican. The U.S. ambassador in Tokyo, Michael Armacost, was more diplomatic, but just as tough. Two weeks ago, Kaifu raised the figure to $4 billion -- serious money but eminently affordable for a...

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