Yoshihiko Noda is set to become the new prime minister of Japan today. No one knows whether his term will be as short as his predecessors, although he will try and buck this trend.
Some media have claimed that since it is difficult to change domestic policies, Noda is likely to unify the various parties of Japan by taking a hard stance on foreign affairs.
As Japan's neighbor, China hopes Noda will keep his popularity in a normal way.
Although the same predictions were made when Japan changed its prime minister in the past, we hope Noda can break this cycle.
The several prime ministers before Noda used all possible means to maintain their political position, but were all struck down, which reflects that Japan is calling for a "big prime minister" with strategic foresight. The leader should be able to lead Japan in a clear direction and promote thorough reform.
Japan's future lies in whether it can adapt to the changes in the Asia-Pacific region. It should bear in mind that it cannot either dominate the restructuring of the region, or lead it.
For some time, Japan has promoted many political suggestions that are implausible and have offended its neighbors, thereby distracting Japan's attention from its domestic problems.
It is difficult for Japan to extend its political influence when its economic power is shrinking. To provoke neighboring countries like China is unwise. Japan should explore new ways to realize revival of the country.
No neighboring country stands as an obstacle for Japan to increase its national power, even North Korea.
Japan's attitude toward its neighboring countries has often been narrow-minded, which constrains its strategic vision.
China is sincere in its wish to see joint development and prosperity with Japan, but Japan seems to fear a win-win situation could lead to a more powerful China.
Japanese leaders often say the rise of China is an opportunity for Japan to develop. What they say is true but they do not always admit this sincerely. Noda should differ from these leaders.
As latecomers to the developed world, China, Japan and South Korea all admire Western countries but look down upon each other. Such a mentality will have the sorest repercussions on Japan.
Some previous Japanese prime ministers have been trouble-makers and lacked the broad mind a leader of a world economic power should have. We hope Noda will set a fresh image in the international stage and demonstrate Japan's resolve to change.
We hope Noda will be a successful prime minister. His success will be Japan's success.