米大統領選 団結を求めたクリントン候補

The Yomiuri Shimbun
Democratic presidential candidate Clinton calls for national, global unity
米大統領選 団結を求めたクリントン候補

In the U.S. presidential election, the difference in outlook has become clear between Republican nominee Donald Trump, who advocates an “America first” policy, and Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton, who calls for international cooperation and national reconciliation.

Clinton, a former secretary of state, was nominated as a presidential candidate at the Democratic convention, kicking off the full-fledged election campaign.

In her acceptance speech, Clinton said, “We’ve reached a milestone in our nation’s march toward a more perfect union,” emphasizing the significance of having been nominated as the first female presidential candidate of a major party.

The important thing is that Clinton spelled out her commitment to reinforce alliances, saying, “We are stronger when we work with our allies around the world.”

When Clinton was secretary of state, she promoted the policy of attaching importance to Asia. She was the first within the administration to make clear that the Senkaku Islands in Okinawa Prefecture are covered by Article 5 of the Japan-U.S. Security Treaty, which stipulates that the United States is obliged to defend Japan.

It is also reassuring for Japan that there are more than a few people within the Clinton camp who are knowledgeable about Japan, including Kurt Campbell, a former assistant secretary of state.

While making no direct reference to the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) trade accord, Clinton went only so far as to express her opposition to “unfair trade deals” in her speech. We can rate positively that she left some room for the U.S. ratification of the accord, while paying consideration to left-wingers within the party who oppose the TPP.

Japan must help U.S. ratify TPP

It is vital for Japan to move ahead swiftly with procedures for Diet approval so as to create an environment that will make it easier for the United States to ratify the pact.

Clinton criticized Trump, who advocates an exclusionary immigration policy, saying, “He wants to divide us — from the rest of the world, and from each other.” She said, “People are looking for steady leadership,” and promoted her feasible policies.

At the Democratic convention, U.S. President Barack Obama, Sen. Bernie Sanders, who had fiercely vied with Clinton for the Democratic presidential candidacy, and others made speeches in support of Clinton. It can be said that she succeeded in orchestrating a reconciliation within the party.

A challenge for Clinton is her record-low popularity as a presidential candidate, similar to Trump’s. During her tenure as secretary of state, Clinton used her private e-mail address for communication of classified information against the state department’s rules.

Judicial authorities did not bring charges against Clinton over the case but said she was “extremely careless.”

When the scandal was uncovered, she initially refused to explain her case in detail or to apologize. This may have led to a national sentiment that she cannot be trusted.

Clinton, who was a first lady and also served as a senator, has been regarded as “a symbol of the establishment” by young people and others who support Sanders.

During the presidential campaign, she needs not only to make her claim to be the “anti-Trump,” but also to win support of those who are discontented about the present state of things. Otherwise, she may not even be able to unite the whole nation.

(From The Yomiuri Shimbun, July 31, 2016)