January 22 that Japan’s Asahi Shimbun published an editorial on January 21 that even if the Trump administration has become history, the reality of mountains of difficult problems at home and abroad in the United States has not changed at all, and it is not clear where the way forward is.
The full text is excerpted as follows:
Have previous U.S. presidents ever taken office in such a gloomy atmosphere?
Normally, the presidential inauguration is undoubtedly an altar to confirm the origin of democracy. The international community will find the way forward for the world from the words of the new leader of the superpower.
But today’s United States is not only suffering from a serious coronavirus epidemic, but also faces serious domestic division and discreditation.
Even if the Trump administration is history, the reality of mounting problems at home and abroad has not changed at all, and it is not clear where the way forward is.
Heal the wounds of the division of the country
Washington, D.C., is still in the aftermath of congressional riots.
The political struggle in the United States has torn society, as if bringing cold war thinking into domestic affairs. A poll shows that one-third of the American people do not recognize the legitimacy of Biden’s election.
On the other hand, the epidemic has killed more than 400,000 people in the United States.
No wonder some people think that this reality evoke memories of the Civil War when society is torn apart and a large number of Americans have lost their lives.
President Biden, who took office at the age of 78, may have the greatest advantage in crisis because of his empathy. Biden, who was plagued by stuttering as a teenager, has reportedly gained insight into the suffering of others since then.
After entering politics, he was hit by the death of his family due to an accident or illness.
In the difficult time of the epidemic, the people are looking forward to a leader who can empathize with the “one other”.
Led by the first female vice president, Kamala Harris, the personnel arrangement of the new government takes into account ethnic and cultural diversity and hopes to express the will to heal the wounds of the country’s division.
But it can’t be denied that it is because the previous government’s wanton trampling on democracy that Biden won, and there is also a helpless side to choose him.
Vice President Harris is also a senior politician with long experience in the Senate, which is indeed the advantage of the new leader.
However, there is no precedent for many issues that need to be solved at present, and those deep-seated social problems that have accumulated during successive governments need the most attention.
How can the middle-income class, which is shrinking due to industrial restructuring, grow again? How to support the tolerant immigration policy that once made the United States proud? How to stimulate the vitality of society and technological innovation?
It may not be possible to let the rich and poor divide the return of Trump-style populism.
The United States needs an inclusive governance model that can bridge differences.
Give priority to the United States to step on the brakes.
If we look at it from an international perspective, we will find that the unipolar rule of the United States that has lasted since the Cold War ended under the previous government.
The return to “great power competition” has been re-mentioned.
However, we can’t get stuck in the mindset.
In today’s world’s increasing interdependence among countries, we can no longer use dualistic thinking to deal with problems.
The Biden administration should change the concept of security that has always been national.
Relatively speaking, the trend of declining American presence may not be reversed.
International coordination has never been more needed, including addressing climate change, epidemic prevention and control measures, and the construction of new trade and tax mechanisms.
Biden shoulders the burden of curbing his own priorities and rebuilding the overall order of the international community.
In that sense, we appreciate Biden’s choice to immediately return to the climate change Paris Agreement.
The United States should also repair its relations with allies such as European countries.
Perhaps the United States should seriously consider how to participate in Asian affairs, because the face of the 21st century will be determined by Asia.
Can Biden rethink American Asian policy and start forming a real cooperative network?
Although the storm of order destruction in the United States has temporarily calmed down, leaders, including Japan and European countries, still need to be psychologically prepared.
Gone are the days of relying on a particular power.