Think for a moment about just how arrogant that is. The Japanese should ignore how well their government is, you know, governing and instead make their electoral decisions based on how well their leaders serve what right-wing U.S. pundits think are our interests in the area. Clearly, after all, the most important thing for the average Japanese citizen is how aggressively his country expands it’s [sic] military. ~Sam Boyd

Boyd is right that it is supremely arrogant, and reflects the notion, common among hegemonists, that everything in the world either is or should be about America and American foreign policy.  When the Germans elected Merkel, it was interpreted as a move “towards” America; when the Socialists won in Spain, it was an ”anti-American” result.  Gordon Brown’s tenure means nothing to them if it cannot be shoehorned into the all-important question: will he do our bidding?  The French election was not of interest to these sorts of people because it potentially represented a change in how France was governed domestically, how its regulatory apparatus functioned and what it meant to be French, but caught their eye purely because Sarko was allegedly more “pro-American” than his predecessor and his rival.  And so on. 

What all of this “analysis” seems to miss is that very few other countries have elections in which foreign policy plays a role as dominant as it does in our presidential elections, and that when they do talk about foreign policy it does not always center around the U.S.     

This ”analysis” also fails to take into account that most other nations do not think that an “activist international role” of the kind that AEI prefers is all that desirable.  This is especially true in Japan, where it was pounded into the heads of the Japanese for two generations that war was never an appropriate instrument of policy.  After having sufficiently beaten down the Japanese, some would appparently like to see the Japanese built back up as a military power to serve Washington’s regional goals.  If there were referenda around the world on this question of having a pro-American ”activist international role” (a.k.a., being an imperialist running-dog), the activist side would lose eight times out of ten.  The AEI folks should be pleased that most foreign electorates do not place as much importance on foreign policy and U.S. relations, or else the LDP under Abe might suffer an even greater defeat.  It is a strange world where hegemonists think it is to their advantage to empower intense nationalists, especially when the domestic agenda of the latter involves the sort of historical revisionism that directly attacks the hegemonists’ own ruling myths about America overcoming the evils of Japanese militarism and transforming Japan into what it is today.