[Photo] US President Joe Biden emphasized the importance of ASEAN at the White House on March 29, saying, "We are committed to putting ASEAN at the core for the future of the Indo-Pacific." He was supposed to bring all the leaders of the 10 ASEAN countries together for a joint press conference. But only Singapore's Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong was next to him. Singapore, which once raised the pro-US flag, has only imposed sanctions on Russia as if to soothe the United States. Biden's astringent expression stands out. AP
■ ASEAN + India is disappointed with Japan
ASEAN member countries have a history of being divided during the Cold War, including Vietnam, Laos, and Cambodia, and suffering from a tragic civil war. Even if the Biden administration urged "whether to choose tyranny or democracy" with a view to China and Russia, now it is not dancing. Cambodia, close to China, responded to Prime Minister Kishida's call for the realization of the US ASEAN Summit Washington meeting, saying, "There are some leaders who are not in good physical condition and all cannot participate" (Prime Minister Hun Sen). It has been dismissed. Malaysia, the leader of the non-aligned movement, and the Philippines, which has made a major shift in foreign policy to pro-China-Russia routes, should not have taken any notice of the call from the United States and Japan as a messenger.
India, the great power of Asia, never goes into criticism of Russia in talks and statements with the leaders of the United States, Europe and Japan. The non-aligned movement that has persisted since the Cold War cannot be abandoned. The Japan-US-Australia-India framework "Quad" held an online summit meeting on March 3. Even if US President Joe Biden called on India's Prime Minister Modi to "in line and blame Russia", it never moved. Even more so, the call of Prime Minister Kishida, who entered India on March 19 and met with Prime Minister Modi, and British Foreign Minister Elizabeth Truss, who visited India on March 31, should not have been a tremor.
About 20 years ago, India approached ASEAN by launching a "New Look East" concept to learn from Malaysia. Malaysia, led by Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad, who set out a " Look East" policy to learn from Japan in the 1980s 20 years ago, was disappointed by Japan, which has just followed the United States. Malaysia is now "non-allied and independent" in ASEAN + India. The rise of China, an economic powerhouse that is adjacent to Asia ,is surpassing the United States. That is accelerating .
■ Rethink "disregard Asia"
ASEAN countries, which have relied on official development assistance (ODA) and large-scale private investment from Japan, are now looking coldly at Japan. The Japanese people and the media have been swallowed up by the general trend that "Korea is disdainful, China, North Korea, and Russia are hostile, and indifferent to Southeast Asian countries such as Vietnam, the Philippines, and Indonesia."
Following the Meiji era, even after the defeat of World War II in August 1945, Japan's tendency to "disregard Asia, emphasize Western Europe, and absolutely view the United States" became an idealism. No, it can even be said to be faith. There are also aspects created by the United States and Britain that benefit from it. With the exception of the previous war period since the end of the Tokugawa shogunate and the Meiji Restoration, we are meeting at a time when we should correct the biased inclination toward the Anglo-Saxon alliance, which has been regarded as "a big tree to rely on." The crisis in Ukraine and the independence of ASEAN may imply that.