Japan in Their Own Words (JITOW)/日本からの意見

We Want an Internationalist, not Globalist America
HANABUSA Masamichi /  Former Japanese Ambassador to Italy

November 5, 2008
Now that nightmarish 8 years under Bush Administration are coming to an end, the world finds itself confronted with an unprecedented financial crisis and with still rampant terrorism. Market-oriented globalism has revealed its serious shortcomings. America's unilateral military intervention in Iraq has not brought peace or democracy to that country. Frankly speaking, it would be an illusion to believe that, given more time, success may be expected on this path.

We should bless America seeking change under new President Obama. We do hope that the Americans will again prove their admirable capacity of self-correction. If right leadership is forthcoming from Obama's America, major countries should not spare their cooperation.

As the American voters have opted for change to seek internal unity, the new Administration must attend pressing domestic issues. In fact, throughout the presidential campaign, Senator Obama did not advocate any salient policies in the field of international affairs. The realities of international economy and politics, however, call for enlightened leadership on the part of the US. If President Obama fails to seize the forelock of Goddess of Opportunity this time, as was said by Machiavelli centuries ago, the whole world will fall into the hands of the Goddess of Regret in the future.

We earnestly wish to see an internationalist, not globalist US external policies.

Globalism may be an ideal of mankind to see the same values and systems prevail widely around the world. The world, however, is still composed of disparate nations. So market-oriented globalism has ended up in serving the interests of those who believe in mammonism.

The major nations of the world need to cooperate with each other in order to overcome the present economic crisis. Their first opportunity is scheduled for November 15, when G-20 Summit is held in Washington. The world's financial system is faced with total collapse. We should stop the violent contraction of global financial credit. The malfunctioning of our financial system is already adversely affecting the real economies of many nations. We should never again allow financial speculators waggle our economies.

We ardently desire that new US President Obama takes the internationalist position that would prevent the world from becoming divisive and that could assure the world smooth economic development. The IMF/GATT regime, built by post-war America, contributed towards the gigantic economic progress of the world. As the US stopped gold convertibility of the dollar in 1971, this post-war financial system has transformed itself into a system which is extremely convenient to the US, whose currency has become the virtual world currency. And it is now clear that the financial engineering techniques, as developed by Wall Street following the advent of overwhelming American military preponderance in the post-cold war period, were not as reliable as rocketry technology. We hope that as soon as the present catastrophic conflagration is somehow extinguished, the US will take the initiative to create a more equitable and stable, monetary and financial system of the world, together with the other leaders of the major nations. This would mean relinquishing of part of privileged positions of the Americans. It is no longer appropriate that the world's credit creation is dominated by arbitrary policies of a single nation. The heavily-indebted America is not in a position to do so. The Americans are urgently called on to contain consumption and increase saving. Otherwise, the future inflow of money into America will be limited.

If the greatest consuming nation is to increase saving, that must be offset with higher levels of consumption by Japan, China, India, etc. These nations bear equally heavy responsibility. Likewise European countries must exert its best to secure confidence in the euro and sustain high levels of consumption. Stagnant Africa and Latin America must be allowed to develop further. Without these the world may fall into worst deflation.

For the future development of the world economy, a stable world financial system with appropriate exchange rates among currencies are indispensable. We urgently need to examine the new global credit creation mechanism on the basis of consensus among the major nations, e.g. the creation of a new SDR with greater participation of such emerging countries as China, India and Brazil and with less weight on the dollar as well as how new SDRs are distributed among the members of the IMF, keeping in mind the need to encourage the development of stagnant nations.

It is obvious that such new arrangements would cut into America's vested interests. But in view of the heavy responsibility borne by their financial engineering gimmicks for the present crisis, it would be just for them to pay some penalty.

Again the writer wishes to urge America to follow a reasoned internationalist course under the new President. In this connection, it must be pointed out that US Congress, which often looked unmindful of the world's concerns, is hereafter required to act keeping America's global responsibility in mind. The Americans have tended to abhor dependence and considered that even interdependence is a kind of dependence. If the American people wrongly believe they can live in peace in Fortress America and other major nations unfortunately follow suit with self-serving attitudes of the 1930s, the world will descend into a dark jungle.

The writer is Chairman Emeritus, The English-Speaking Union of Japan.
The English-Speaking Union of Japan

英 正道 / 元駐イタリア大使

2008年 11月 5日


米国民は国内の分裂を避けるべく変革を選択したのであるから、新政権は当面は喫緊の内政上の諸問題の対応しなければならないであろう。事実オバマ氏は大統領選挙戦を通じて、国際政治の面では、際立った考えを提唱していない。しかし国際経済と国際政治の現実は、アメリカが良識あるリーダーシップを発揮することを求めている。若し新大統領が この「好機の女神」の前髪を掴まねば、世界全体は、マキャベリが言ったように、「後悔の女神」の手中に陥るだろう。









(筆者は日本英語交流連盟 名誉会長。)
一般社団法人 日本英語交流連盟

English Speaking Union of Japan > Japan in Their Own Words (JITOW) > We Want an Internationalist, not Globalist America