cj#1059> [mil-corp] Japan is abandoning its pacifism

2000-01-28

Richard Moore

Dear cj,

Those of us who know about "The Clash of Civilizations" (SP
Huntington) have know for some time that Japan would be
rearming - since it has been designated a 'core power' by
the NWO regime.  In addition, elite planers have been
looking to Japan to balance China geopolitically.  Japan
became pacifist after WWII because the US-run postwar global
regime forced it to; Japan is now giving that up because the
global regime has shifted.

There is no power vacuum in Asia - not any more than there
has been since the end of WWII. And a "new nationalism" is
something that is generated from the top via propaganda, not
something that sponataneously determines government policy.

rkm

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Subject: [mil-corp] Japan is abandoning its pacifism.
Date: Tue, 25 Jan 2000 11:39:03 -0800
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Network members,

Below is a disturbing commentary on Japan's new military policies. Driven
by a power vacuum in Asia and the need to protect its economic interests,
Japan is mounting an increasingly aggressive military stance. This is also
fueled by a new nationalism - especially in young people (I can't believe
that the author discusses the cartoon Star Blazers. Any other Generation
Xers out there remember that TV show besides me?).

Steve Staples

****************

http://www.stratfor.com/asia/commentary/m0001250135.htm

0135 GMT, 000125 – Japan Rising From Its Pacifism
Stratfor Commentary

The Japanese Parliament announced Jan. 21 that it will begin a formal,
five-year review of its constitution. The document, penned under the
auspices of U.S. Gen. Douglas MacArthur after Japan's defeat in World War
II, renounces the use of force to resolve international disputes. The
announcement of the document's review came just days after a panel of
advisors to Prime Minister Keizo Obuchi recommended that the nation should
not sit content with "a course of unilateral pacifism."

Until recently, the Japanese population has considered the country's
pacifist constitution indisputable. The new review reveals that Japan has
undeniably moved past the taboo against questioning Japan's pacifism. The
nation is realizing that its U.S. guardian may lose interest now that
Japan's strategic relationship with the United States is changing. Rather
than being a valuable, if costly, asset for the containment of Russia,
Japan is now a business competitor with as much potential to destabilize as
to stabilize Asia. As well, Japan has realized that to protect its
interests in the Asian power vacuum, it must remain one of Asia's major
players — not only economically and politically, but also militarily.

Beneath the larger strategic level, Japan has had many tactical excuses in
recent years to reevaluate its current defense policy. For example, Japan
was unable to join in the U.N. effort in the Gulf War, except by
contributing money and minesweepers. In the December 1996 hostage crisis at
the Japanese Embassy in Peru, Tokyo was hamstrung and the incident dragged
on for more than three weeks. The Japanese resolve was again tested in
1998, when North Korea tested ballistic missiles in Japanese waters. And
then last September, the clash in East Timor brought Asian nations into
action, despite their traditional policy of non-interference. Japan's
current defense guidelines made it all but impossible for its troops to
participate.

The changing political and social climate has not been immediate. Many
signs have emerged over the past year. The most notable was the revision in
the Self-Defense Forces (SDF) guidelines to allow Japan to move beyond
territorial waters to provide rear-area logistical and search and rescue
support to the United States. If George W. Bush is elected in the 2000 U.S.
presidential elections, that trend could accelerate. In the Jan.-Feb. issue
of Foreign Affairs, one of Bush's foreign policy advisors recommended that
Tokyo increase its role in East Asian Security, again in concert with
Washington.

Other factors suggest that Japan is gearing up for a more assertive
regional role. In December 1999, the military requested budget allocation
for an in-air refueling aircraft – an item on its agenda since 1996 –
arguing that it would cut noise pollution. These planes would give Japan
the capability to attack foreign territory, clearly contradicting the
country's pacifist stance. Again, the proposal was rejected, but only after
a struggle that pitted the Liberal Democratic Party (LDP) and Liberal Party
against certain members of the LDP and the New Komeito. The military will
restate the request when the fiscal 2001 budget comes up for discussion.

But there is yet another harbinger to Japan's rising militarism: a new
generation coming into its adulthood. More than 60 percent of the
population is now under 50 years old, born after the end of World War II.
Nearly 30 percent is under 25 and knows the war only through grandparents'
memories.

Japan's youngest citizens live with a burden unknown to their parents. The
job security, protected markets and national security subsidized by the
United States at the height of the Cold War have suddenly disappeared.
Unlike their parents, this generation looks forward to an uncertain future
— and knows only a Washington that is unwilling to bail them out.

The younger members of the population are also responsible for a recent
resurgence in nationalism, a trend that is easily evident in the nation's
media. Many of the current generation grew up watching Anime "Space Cruiser
Yamato," a popular Japanese cartoon known in the United States as Star
Blazers. In the cartoon, the protagonists dredge up the sunken Japanese
World War II battleship Yamato and refurbish it as a spacecraft to save all
Earth. More recently, in the film-length Anime "Silent Service," the crew
of a joint U.S.-Japanese nuclear submarine declares its sovereignty as an
independent nation, provoking the two nations to prepare for battle.

The country's ruling Liberal Democratic Party (LDP) – a strong advocate of
constitutional review – seems intent on speeding up the transfer of power
to the younger generations. The LDP has proposed an age limit of 80 for
representing the party in parliament and would like to see the new
legislation approved before the next general election, set for sometime
before October 2000.

The legislation would bring an abrupt end to the terms of some of the
party's leading politicians. As an LDP political reform official said, the
move would "give a clear message that the LDP is eager to rejuvenate,"
reported The Associated Press. The proposal will likely meet a great deal
of resistance. Nevertheless, it draws attention to the upcoming and
inevitable transfer of power to a more youthful set of legislators — and a
younger electorate.

Without a doubt, Japan is preparing to move past the onus of World War II
and resume operations as a "normal" nation, with the will and wherewithal
to protect its interests – eventually, without U.S. assistance. The change,
especially sweeping symbolic statements like constitutional review, will
take years. Japan will have to weigh its new assertive nature carefully
against the suspicion sure to emerge from its neighbors. Nevertheless, its
unnatural "unilateral pacifism" will some day be a remnant of the past.

Related Stories:

Japan: Nuclear Comments Clear Way For Defense Debate
Japan's North Korea Stance Tied to Defense Debate

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Richard K Moore
Wexford, Irleand
Citizens for a Democratic Renaissance
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