The Noda-Obama Meeting and the U.S.-Japan Security Alliance

PM Noda yesterday returned to Tokyo from his first foreign diplomatic foray—at the U.N. in New York.    There he addressed the General Assembly—or what was left of it, since he had the bad luck of speaking after Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abbas, for whose plea for Palestinian statehood and independent a standing room only audience of delegates had assembled, but then immediately afterward dispersed, leaving the hall fairly empty.

A pity, perhaps, because for Japan, and PM Noda, the appearance and speech had an important purpose, which was to officially thank the “international community” for the assistance to and sympathy for Japan following the 3.11 earthquake, tsunami, Fukushima nuclear accident disasters.   Also, it was an occasion—not to be missed—for Japan to pledge to fully and continuously study the lessons learned from Fukushima, and to be a global leader in propagating safe use of nuclear power.

Finally, it was a chance for Noda to appear on a “world stage,” even if it was mostly cameras from Japanese TV networks recording the event.   

By all accounts, in all above respects, the U.N. speech was a success.

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