On her first day in office, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton set a refreshing new tone at the State Department by declaring that diplomacy will be the essential U.S. foreign policy tool of the new administration. The point was underscored by President Barack Obama’s visit to Foggy Bottom the next day. With multiple wars raging around the world, her tasks are daunting. East Asia, with its relative peace, is certainly not at the top of her priorities. Even so, it is disappointing that she has missed an opportunity to send a message to Japan about a contentious issue that is poisoning trans-Pacific relations.