Key Asian Ally Watches Nov. Election and Worries

By Mieko Yamamoto
Millennial Influx correspondent

TOKYO — A key Asian ally holds its breath. As election results stall, Japan awaits the fate of U.S. and Japan relations that hang in balance.

Although the Japanese government refrained from actively commenting on the election, they’re keeping a close eye on the presidential race. Japan with its close ties to the U.S. continues to monitor the outcome and its potential implications for future directions.

While some would suggest that the U.S.-Japan relationship will stay strong no matter who wins the election, Foreign Policy believes otherwise. They believe that neither option is great for Japan, bringing about a share of worries. Trump’s victory will bring about risks regarding U.S. military presence in Japan. On the other hand, a Biden administration will bring about questions regarding foreign policy. In addition, there are doubts surrounding the topic of recreating close ties between the U.S. President and Japanese Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga.

“Lesser of Two Evils”

According to The Japan Times, one might argue that Trump is the lesser of two evils. With former Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, Trump’s close ties would encourage better teamwork. On a different note, the market regards Trump as a favorable factor. But, Biden’s economic plan seems to also contribute to a surge in stock prices. Whoever wins, the stock market is likely to react positively.

The outcome of the election will have a vast impact on the entire world. Japan as a key Asian ally is currently in a state of uncertainty and unrest.

NHK interviewed Professor Fujiwara Kiichi, an expert on International Politics at the University of Tokyo, in order to analyze the current election.

President Trump claimed unsubstantiated victory and even says he will go to the Supreme Court to end vote counting. However, Professor Fujiwara stated there is no concrete evidence of fraud that was being conducted. Ballots are still being counted.

Professor Fujiwara continued,

“It does make sense however, because early mailed in ballots was expected to represent more democratic votes than republicans so if cut off, it would certainly benefit the President.”

Furthermore, Ebara Miki, NHK’s Chief International Correspondent shared her thoughts. She found it difficult to believe this was happening in a country that champions itself as founded on democracy.

A Divided America

From countries outside the U.S., this is the most gritty presidential election in decades. Nevertheless, this election doesn’t seem to concern issues that have immediate dire consequences internationally.

Countries outside the U.S. are seeing this election instead as a divided America. In its fight to decide what kind of nation they will be moving forward, the close race itself is symbolic of America’s deep divide.

President Trump represents the half that puts America first, pushing to oust illegal immigrants and focuses on the economy of public health. Biden’s half fights for diversity, insurance to cover those of low-income families, and cooperation with the international community.

Regardless of the outcome, Japan is curious to know how these two sides will come together as one nation.