Prime Minister Yukio Hatoyama on Thursday denounced the sinking of a South Korean warship that Seoul has blamed on North Korea but did not elaborate on how Japan might respond to the incident.Wow. When the Japanese left is on Pyongyang's case, you know it's bad. Of course, it's good politics for PM Hatoyama to make nice with both Washington and Seoul, so a tough stance isn't all that surprising.
"Our country strongly supports South Korea," Hatoyama said in a written statement. "North Korea's action is inexcusable and, along with the international community, we strongly condemn it."
The statement followed a report by the South Korean military and private-sector experts that concluded North Korean forces had used a torpedo to sink the corvette Cheonan, killing 46 sailors.
Praising the report as "scientific and objective," Hatoyama said Japan would cooperate with South Korea, the United States and other parties involved "for the peace and security of the region."
And if South Korea decides that the best way to respond to North Korea's hostile act is to get all sanctions-enforcing on their asses, then it's nice to have Japan on board with ships that might go in and out of the Korea Strait (going past Tsushima or Kyūshū) or Sōya Strait (aka La Pérouse Strait, going past Hokkaidō).
From my perspective, it's good to have Seoul and Tōkyō working together on matters of national and regional security.