How Important Is It for U.S. to Support Japan?
This is a rush transcript from "Hannity," March 11, 2011. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.
SEAN HANNITY, HOST: Tonight, here with me in studio is Mary Kissel, and she is a Wall Street Journal editorial board member who just returned from Asia where she ran the Journal's Asia opinion section. Thank you for being with us. So, you know this section very well.
Let me ask you this, so many people are affected and the relationship between Japan and the United States is critical, this affects us on a whole variety of levels. This is going to have a deep impact. And the U.S. obviously wants to help its friends and allies there.
MARY KISSEL, THE WALL STREET JOURNAL: Yes. That's right. And I think one of the big changes this time around is that the government of Japan has said and we want your help. If you remember back in 1995 in the Kobe earthquake, the officials back then were very slow to react, they were heavily criticized. And I think the government of Naoto Kan this time has realized the scale of the disaster and he's embracing U.S. help. But you are right, it is important for us to support Japan. They are our strongest and most important ally in North Asia.
HANNITY: Especially when it comes to the nuclear site of this and the radiation fallout. And obviously, when you have, you know, 1,000 times the amount of radiation in the air that you normally would that creates a massive danger. You know, look at this devastation, you watch the tsunami come onshore. And I've seen these pictures that's in the airport, but literally lifting up houses and lifting up trucks and cars and just with seemingly no difficulty, it just gives you an idea the force of this thing.
KISSEL: Yes, well, that's right. I mean, Japan also though, you have to remember, was as prepared as one possibly could be for this sort of disaster. Their level of expertise there is very high. And you also have U.S. forces, Japan which is steaming over there. You have other ships the Pacific Command is sending in to help. So, it's not as if they're dealing with this on their own.
HANNITY: How about the economics of this for Japan which you know, after their lost decade have never really fully financially recovered.
KISSEL: Well, it is not just a lost decade, Sean, it is the last 15 to 20 years.
HANNITY: Well, the lost decade that never ended.
KISSEL: Yes. Right. It's lost decade have never ended. Well, undoubtedly this is going to be a big hit to their industrial production. They're going to have to muster a lot of people to come together and to help rebuild Japan. They have as you say, big issues, they have 200 percent debt to GDP. They're having problems in the legislature passing, getting their budget through. There's been a lot of bickering back and forth. I think the hope is here, that in the short term, both of the parties can come together and work to, you know, rebuild the country. It's just an extraordinary disaster.
HANNITY: All right. Thank you for your expertise and your time tonight.
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