Crossfire War: Japan Seeks Reassurance on Oil Supply

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Crossfire War – Eurasia Theatre: Tokyo – Singapore/Riyadh – Islamabad; Japan Seeks Reassurance on Oil Supply as Saudi Crown Prince Embarks on Three Nation Tour

Night Watch: TOKYO – The first stop for Saudi Crown Prince Sultan Ibn Abdul Aziz, on his three nation tour, was Tokyo where I suspect he attempted to reassure Emperor Akihito and Foreign Minister Taro Aso that there will be no interruption of the constant supply of oil from the Persian Gulf, either from Iran – Saudi Arabia or any of the other Gulf states to Japan.

The official reason for the Crown Prince Sultan’s visit to Tokyo was close to the truth; to discuss bilateral relations and international -regional issues. Behind the scenes I assume the concerns from Tokyo were expressed more frankly since they realize Tehran intends to display the accuracy of its nuclear-missile program as they upgrade their attacks against the West and India to the level of full scale war.

Emperor Akihito and Foreign Minister Aso understandably want to know could that mean the massive energy trade between Japan and the Middle East will be caught in a crossfire. Tokyo knows that it is impossible to give a satisfactory answer diplomatically or frankly since wars, even small ones, never happen as neatly as they are planned. Even during the Iran/Iraq War of 1980-88, though the fighting never went beyond those two countries, international commerce passing through the Persian Gulf was attacked regularly by both sides. And they attacked ships no matter who owned them or where they were chartered. Riyadh is aware that with the economic reality Japan lives under they cannot tolerate being without access to the Persian Gulf.

Riyadh/Tokyo are also aware that World War III is being fought on a much vaster scale, one that will encompass the greater part of Eurasia and that there is no nice neat outcome, especially since nuclear weapons are going to be used. Tokyo/Riyadh know that calling for a diplomatic, peaceful solution to Tehran’s nuclear confrontation with the West-Russia is just a diplomatic smokescreen, a mirage that will vanish as will the snows of Kashmir in May and with it a lot of whatever there is left of stability.

The Emperor and Foreign Minister may have stated that Tokyo will have no other choice but to consider military measures, in association with other Allied governments, to guarantee their continued access to Mideast oil. One of those Allied capitals is Singapore, the next stop for the Crown Prince, and they have identical concerns as Tokyo, which is why for the last several years they have increased their military budget and since 2001 increased their maritime maneuvers with Allied nations.

The last stop for Crown Prince Sultan will be Islamabad where though there have been serious military cooperation between Saudi Arabia and Pakistan, Islamabad may not want to see much maritime traffic attacked either knowing the negative economic impact that will have on them. If Pakistan believes attacks against commercial shipping is getting out of hand, on the part of Tehran-Riyadh, they will reduce their military cooperation with both countries. Islamabad realizes that initial Jihad successes are one thing but a second Persian Empire is something quite different. Pakistan has not forgotten the first one, which can be very dictatorial economically.

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Willard Payne is an international affairs analyst who specializes in International Relations. A graduate of Western Illinois University with a concentration in East-West Trade and East-West Industrial Cooperation, he has been providing incisive analysis to NewsBlaze. He is the author of Imagery: The Day Before.