It is a rule here at the FT that op-eds submitted by prime ministers and leading politicians are usually pretty boring. The usual offer is something like – “Here is a speech I gave three days ago on the need for a better world, would you care to re-print it.”
However, I will make an exception to this rule for Yukio Hatoyama’s piece on “A New Path for Japan”, which was published in the New York Times at the end of last month, just before he was elected prime minister.
Hatoyama’s piece includes an unusual repudiation of globalisation from the prime minister of a leading industrial nation. He argues that – “The recent economic crisis resulted from a way of thinking based on the idea that American-style free-market economics represents a universal and ideal economic order” and that “globalism has progressed without any regard for non-economic values.”
Hatoyama also disses America in other ways, arguing that “as a result of the failure of the Iraq war and the financial crisis, the era of US-led globalism is coming to an end.” He implicitly casts doubt on the reliability of the US security guarantee, saying that Japan’s dilemma is to be “caught between the United States, which is fighting to retain its position as the world’s dominant power, and China which is seeking ways to become dominant”. And, in perhaps the worst heresy of all, he cites the European Union as an inspiring example – and says that Asia should work towards establishing a common currency and a system of collective security. Read more