Obama bungle produces 'worst U.S.-Japan summit in history'

A magazine in Tokyo is reporting that President Obama's summit with Japanese Prime Minister Hatoyama was a frosty disaster, precipitated by incompetence on both sides and an entirely avoidable diplomatic slight to the Japanese side by Obama. The visit was abruptly re-scheduled, seriously inconveniencing the Emperor of Japan, as well as the Prime Minister, whose intricate schedules require meticulous planning and coordination.

Japanese weekly magazine Shukan Bunshun cites an unnamed insider at the Foreign Ministry, who delivers a devastating account of not merely a failure to agree, but figurative slaps in the face of the rude president, delivered in retaliation. If true, President Obama has demonstrated high-handed arrogance once again, and antagonized a key ally, weakening a relationship of critical security and economic importance to the United States.

"To tell you the truth, it had to have been the worst US-Japan Summit Meeting in history," a source of ours at the Foreign Ministry revealed to us.

A summary translation of the Japanese-only publication appears on Free Republic, posted by someone with the screen name American in Tokyo. Shukan Bunshun is one of the most prominent magazines in Japan. Although Japanese weeklies tend to be gossipy and not always completely reliable, the corporate parent of Bunshun (as it is familiarly known), Bungeishunju, is a very prestigious publishing company with a track record of exposing serious political scandal. It awards Japan's most important literary honor, the Akutagawa Prize.

It may well be that the magazine's source had some scores to settle within the ministry, for the Japanese side is also criticized for not having its act together. But the late schedule change, forcing the Japanese side to adjust for Obama's convenience, is the sort of slight that tends to anger the Japanese.  Here is the meat of Obama's bungle, as reported in the weekly:

The plan was for Obama to arrive in Japan on the November 12th, have his summit meeting with Hatoyama on the 13th, and thereby jet out of Japan the following day, the 14th to Singapore for the APEC Summit meeting. The U.S. journalist also revealed that the Obama administration made the sudden request to change this schedule for Obama to the 13th (arrival in Japan), on November 7th. Said the same U.S. journalist source, "their excuse for the delay was the shooting at Fort Hood, Texas on the U.S. Army base on November 5th. But the fact of the matter is, the memorial service was on the November 10th and only took a day trip for Obama whereupon he returned immediately to Washington, D.C. After that, he had the National Security Council meeting on policy in Afghanistan on November 11th. However, he could have departed Washington, D.C. right after that and could have still landed in Japan as everyone agreed and planned on, for the 12th."

--Additional screw-ups that created a possible conflict with the Emperor's schedule and the entire Cabinet celebrating his 20 years on the throne, can be traced to the Japanese Foreign Ministry. A ruling Democratic Party of Japan spokesperson said "at any rate, with four days in China for Obama, the fact is China is the big thing for them."

--Obama was made to wait five minutes in a car at the entrance way to the Prime Minister's Official Residence, which as seen as not only a diplomatic discourtesy, but a breach of security procedures, and furthermore it would be recalled the Prime Minister and his wife had kept Obama waiting for a long time in Pittsburg at the G-20 dinner as well, says foreign affairs specialist Oyama.

--It may have been felt as a diplomatic slight to get back at the Americans because of the very sudden, troublesome last minute schedule change.

The American media aren't reporting the story, and so far Bunshun is the only Japanese source reporting it, so far as I know.

Either President Obama wants to anger America's traditional allies, as he is doing with the British, or he is simply a self-involved fool who can't imagine others aren't thrilled with everything he does. Considering his botched bow, I am going with the second hypothesis, for the moment. The bow made him appear to be a sophomoric bumpkin.

Hat tip: Clarice Feldman
If you experience technical problems, please write to helpdesk@americanthinker.com