On December 4, The Sankei Shimbun published an article in its Global Points at Issue opinion column, entitled “What Will Happen With American Aid to Ukraine?”
Regarding the situation in the U.S., the article reads:
“The Wall Street Journal website published a report on November 12 about the battlegrounds of Ukraine’s counteroffensive during this stalemate.” “The report says the West has trained tens of thousands of troops and provided equipment to Ukraine. Despite this, Ukraine has been unable to break through the Russian lines to reach the Sea of Azov. While Russia is increasing attack drone production, Ukraine is struggling because it must procure weapons from Western nations. The article also included statements from experts calling for Ukraine to utilize a different strategy. Instead of continuing onslaughts to recover small pieces of territory, these experts believe it would be safer for Ukraine to switch to a defensive posture that will exhaust Russia’s military force and equipment.” “The U.S. has taken the initiative to send aid to Ukraine, but there is concern that die-hard conservative resistance in the Republican Party will pose difficulties to passing the supplementary aid budget. According to a November 12 article on The Washington Post website, Russia is ready to devote an endless amount of human life and assets to the fight, which will make Ukraine face the hard reality that it must negotiate with Russia.” “The website of Foreign Affairs magazine ran an article on November 17, titled ‘Redefining Success in Ukraine.’ One of the authors was President Emeritus of the Council on Foreign Relations Richard Haass, a pundit who was special assistant to Republican President George H. W. Bush.” “Even if the U.S. gave F-16 fighters to Ukraine, the essay says that Ukraine would not be capable of dealing a decisive blow. According to the authors, the more pragmatic option would be for Ukraine to defend its current territories and prioritize their rebuilding, rather than striving to regain other territories.” “They also sounded a warning for America, mentioning the current issue of defense aid to Israel after the Gaza conflict broke out in October. They stated that the American defense industry has limited production capabilities, and that the U.S. cannot provide sufficient assistance for wars in two partner countries.” “Next year’s presidential election is one factor behind the increasingly prominent view that a ceasefire should be declared. Former President Donald Trump has the highest approval rating of any Republican candidate. Haass warned that Ukraine may face a dilemma depending on who wins the election, and called for Ukraine to promptly switch strategies because Ukraine and America should not take on these risks.”
The Forbes website posted an article on December 5, “U.S. Running Out Of Funding For Ukraine, White House Says.” According to the American Office of Management and Budget (OMB), supplemental aid for Ukraine – totaling $111 billion dollars (approximately 16.3 trillion yen) – has mostly been used up as of mid-November. Ukraine will not be able to keep fighting unless Congress swiftly approves President Joe Biden’s emergency budget proposal. It is impossible to predict whether the budget will pass the House of Representatives, where there is a Republican majority.
The Sankei Shimbun’s Global Points at Issue column also described the situation in Europe, where more people are asking for cuts to Ukrainian aid.
Other media outlets are also reporting on the impasse in Ukraine. FNN Prime Online posted an article on December 5, “America’s Washington Post Analyzes Ukraine’s Counteroffensive Started in June: Failed Efforts Lead to Stalemate.” It read:
The circumstances remain grim for Ukraine, including the progress of the war and the amount of aid it will receive. The global community maintains its stance of renouncing the Russian invasion as a clear violation of international law. But on the question of when this war will end, it seems Ukraine has entered the phase when it must consider a different approach.
The Israel-Hamas war in Gaza poses additional difficulties for aid to Ukraine from across the globe. There is no clear path for ending this deep-seated conflict; not only are the involved parties in complicated positions, but other countries are facing complex circumstances as well. Vol. 82 of Gaiko (“Diplomacy”) magazine included an article, “Hamas, Israel, and Global Aporia,” with a conversation between three Middle East researchers: Kota Suechika of Ritsumeikan University, Ryoji Tateyama of the National Defense Academy, and Aiko Nishikida of Keio University. According to them, war has once again broken out in Palestine due to Israel’s longstanding lockdown of Gaza. Palestine is not functioning as a fully independent state, Israel has disregarded Hamas for a long time, and in recent years there has been talk about Israel improving its relationships with Arab nations. One interviewee stated that a factor in the attack was Hamas’ unwillingness to allow the Palestine problem to be ignored.
Other nations are responding in different ways to the Gaza conflict. In the past, Arab countries could not earn citizen support without bringing up the “Arab cause” of Palestine liberation. Now that these nations are stable thanks to oil income and other factors, policymakers have forgotten about Palestine and drawn closer to Israel. However, the article says that Arab citizens still feel powerful animosity towards Israel, while Western politicians “who do not show their approval of Israel may be branded as anti-Semites by Jewish citizens in their countries.” However, more Jewish Americans of young ages believe “they should not endorse Israel’s occupation policy that disregards human rights.” Muslims in Indonesia and other Asian countries support Palestine for religious reasons. The Global South opposes Israel’s “neocolonialism,” and there is a movement showing sympathy for the people of Palestine.
In addition, more young Americans reject the idea of intervention in the Middle East. Presidential candidates cannot become deeply involved in this conflict if they want to win the 2024 election. China traditionally has few ties with the Middle East. Although Russia has relationships with both Hamas and Israel, it is currently occupied with the Ukraine war. According to the article, resolution to the Israel-Hamas war is delayed because no major powers are able to play significant roles in resolving this dispute.
Looking at Western countries, there are particularly deep divides among German citizens. NHK Global News Navi described this in detail in its December 1 article, “Doubts About Germany’s Staatsräson.”
It seems like this division is unavoidable, considering Germany’s history and current situation.
It makes sense that Japan’s responses to the Gaza conflict differ from Western countries that have close ties with Jewish people. On October 22, six G7 nations released a joint statement expressing support for Israel’s right to self-defense, and asking for compliance with international humanitarian law regarding civilians. Of course, Japan did not take part in this statement. Although Hamas’ October 7 surprise attack in Israel was a clear act of terrorism, there is a high possibility that Israel is breaking international humanitarian law through its Gaza Strip counteroffensive. Japan does not have strong ties with the Jewish people in this region. Rather than simply following the U.S., I think Japan should maintain a neutral position – a stance that is neither anti-Semitic nor anti-Islam – while calling for the war to end and keeping an eye on circumstances as they happen. Japan must hold firm in advocating for compliance with laws of the international community, both in Gaza and Ukraine. This is the basis for Japan’s severe disapproval of Russia; if Israel is violating international law, then it should be denounced as well. I believe it is entirely wrong to assume this means taking the side of Hamas, and that criticisms of that type should be avoided.
December 13 (Wednesday), 5:00 p.m.