As some Japanese said, Tokyo's reception of visiting US President Joe Biden was grandiloquent to the point of truckling.
Even though Tokyo should be well aware that the so-called Indo-Pacific Economic Framework for Prosperity proposed by the United States represents Washington's latest scheme to try and exclude China from the regional economic structure and that it will unavoidably harm regional development and unity, it was still happy to attentively set the stage for the US leader to unveil it.
Even though Tokyo is well aware that the Quad will make Japan a tool, along with India and Australia, for Washington to threaten China's security at the costs of regional peace and stability, it was still happy to host the Quad summit on Tuesday.
Likewise, although Tokyo should be well aware that it is the US that has provoked the conflict between Russia and Ukraine, Japan has been happy to join the US' sanctions against Russia, irrespective of how they affect the stability of Northeast Asia.
And if the Japan-European Union summit earlier this month is taken into account－which produced a highly provocative joint statement covering issues of Xinjiang, Hong Kong, Taiwan and human rights conditions in China－it is fair to say that Tokyo feels no qualms about throwing itself into the arms of the West, although it is well aware that in doing so it is betraying common regional interests and Asian values.
And history shows that when Japan forgets it is a member of the Asian family, it causes disaster in the region.
After the Meiji Restoration in the late 19th century that initiated Japan's rise, the country started looking down upon and harassing, and then invading and enslaving, its neighbors.
It was its "historic" victory over Russia in their war in 1904 that led to the country's self-aggrandizement peaking to such an extent that it embarked on a militarist and expansionist path of no return, leaving unhealed wounds in the region that continue to fester.
Now is another time that the country seems on the verge of doing that with the connivance of the US.
This year marks the 50th anniversary of the normalization of China-Japan diplomatic relations. Their win-win cooperation has not only benefited the two peoples but also the rest of the world. That offers an important lesson that Japan should heed.
If Tokyo once again becomes consumed by notions of regional dominance, even though it plays the role allotted to it by the US, it will be set on a course that will repeat its past missteps.
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