- The Washington Times - Friday, November 18, 2005

Excerpts of editorials from newspapers around the world:

Asahi Shimbun

East Asian diplomacy

TOKYO — As the year-end approaches, so too does a season of East Asian diplomacy. First off, Japanese and American leaders met in Kyoto on Nov. 16, then the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) forum opened at Busan yesterday. The middle of December will see both a WTO ministerial meeting in Hong Kong and an East Asian summit in Kuala Lumpur.

What roles will Japan, the United States, China and other countries play in such important diplomatic arenas? Their strategies toward other Asian countries will be put to the test. And Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi no doubt yearns to make a comeback in his Asian diplomacy, which many experts say is his weakest point. …

Japan cannot currently hope to take the leadership in Asian diplomacy.

So what should Mr. Koizumi do to convey a strong message that Japan is the cornerstone of regional development?

For starters, Japan should commit itself to further opening its markets, such as the rice market, and providing economic and technical cooperation on environmental issues.

It should also promise to extend medical assistance relating to bird flu, and lend a helping hand to improve the standard of living in poorer Asian countries.

At the same time, it should emphasize the image and values of a Japan that is free both politically and culturally.

In all of this, APEC’s basic philosophy of “open regionalism” will be the key to turning the diplomatic moves of Japan, the United States and China into a mutual drive for coexistence, rather than just the power game it threatens to devolve into.

Corriere della Sera

The Milosevic trial

MILAN, Italy — The trial that should have provided justice for some of the most violent crimes against humanity in Europe since 1945 is finishing as a farce that risks being prolonged until 2008.

The stalemate with the trial of Slobodan Milosevic stems from the varied charges against him that do not target the main crimes. The trial … is perceived as a cutthroat process against a solitary old man. With the result that, in the Balkans, the despot Milosevic disguises himself as a “victim” insulted by “democratic prosecutors,” while the NATO air raids in defense of the Albanians are twisted into “war crimes” and the judges are reduced to insignificant characters.

However the trial ends, the last Yugoslav despot has reset justice back to zero. These are dark days for those who continue to believe in international law and these are satisfying days for war criminals all over the world.

Jordan Times

Israeli-Palestinian talks

AMMAN — [Tuesday’s] agreement on border crossings, including the reopening of the Gaza border, was largely a technical issue, but it resuscitated timid hopes that broader and more significant Palestinian-Israeli talks might be pushed back on track in the near future and perhaps even before the Palestinian parliamentary elections on Jan. 25. Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas has all the interest in ensuring that this week’s deal works and stays in place, and in working as hard as possible for more such deals to alleviate the hardships of his people.

If Abbas can show that his moderate policies have led to concrete results on the ground and to better or at least less harsh living conditions for Palestinians across the board, he will be able to face with more confidence a challenge by Hamas in the upcoming elections.

Abbas’ success is obviously in Israel’s interest, too. …

Another important ingredient for the success of the negotiations was the active mediation of both the U.S. and the EU. …

Israel increasingly views the EU as biased in favor of the Palestinians. The Palestinians increasingly view the U.S. as biased in favor of the Israelis.

Given the credibility problem, … the best possible combination is for both Washington and Brussels to work together to broker Palestinian-Israeli deals.

This is what happened with [Tuesday’s] agreement, and it obviously worked. …

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