Japan narrows foreign policy focus
Nov 13,2007 00:00 by UPI

TOKYO - Japanese Prime Minister Yasuo Fukuda said his country's foreign policy must focus on Asia rather than assume a larger global role.

In an interview with The Washington Post, Fukuda was clear that Japan's role in security affairs wouldn't be as global as encouraged by the Bush administration.

"I believe the heaviest responsibility for Japan is to see to it that there is stability and prosperity in Asia," Fukuda told the Post on the eve of his first visit to Washington as prime minister.

U.S. Defense Secretary Robert Gates last week urged Japan to shoulder "global security responsibilities" commensurate with its wealth and military strength.

"There are a number of international peacekeeping and other activities where we believe Japan could play a constructive role," Gates said during a visit to Tokyo.

© 2007 United Press International. All Rights Reserved.