I gave up reading most alternate history a decade or more ago, because as I quickly discovered, most of it is just no good. But back during its mid-90s heyday, this story could have been the setup to one of the wilder scenarios:
Late on Friday night Australian time, Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe was reportedly set to deliver the keynote speech at the important Shangri-La dialogue in Singapore, pushing his nation as part of a counterweight to China along with ally the United States and partners in the region.
Defence Minister David Johnston is due to speak on Saturday at the dialogue. According to speech notes, Senator Johnston will say that Australia “welcomes Japan’s efforts to re-examine its security and defence policies so that it can make a greater contribution to regional peace and security”.
It’s been years since I first wrote that China’s bumbling around the Pacific and East Asia would cause the nations there to coalesce around the United States, and that it would take a proactive effort on our part to mess that up. Fortunately, passivity is often this White House’s only strength when it comes to foreign affairs.