Friday, September 29, 2006

LA Times on Abe

It seems they have noticed that some believe that there could possibly be a "virulent form of nationalism" in the lovely, wonderful, uniquely peace-loving Japan. This would be at odds with the" Japan is wonderful" Japan explainers. I am sure it is all a mistake.

If this article is accurate, then the questions about whether or not Abe would continue Koizumi's economic reforms seem to have an answer---no. Apparently, the focus of the LDP is going to be to revive "national pride" in Japan. So I suppose the foreign policy will emphasize Japan's self-interests over international interests. That is normal, but seeing how Japan managed to offend all of its neighbors in northeast Asia over visits to the Yasukuni shrine for no reason except to revive pride in Japan's past (WWII), I believe we can get an idea on what issues are important to Japan, and where it will head. (Notice that the LDP supporters of Abe claim that the older generation was brainwashed in school about Japan's past. The older generation were the people who lived through the war, fought the war, and have first-hand experience with it and the events leading up to it. They didn't learn about it in school, like Abe did. They lived it. Who do you think is more likely to be correct on Japan's actions/errors in that period?)

Maybe he can pull it off, and Japan will finally become a "normal country." It will do so without really examining its actions in WWII, but let's face the facts---examining its actions ain't gonna happen. Maybe he can pull it off without continuing to anger Japan's neighbors. Maybe he can do it without instilling the wareware nihonjin spirit which seems to set Japan both above and apart from the rest of humanity. May he can do it while allied with the U.S. while not becoming more and more isolated and hated like the U.S. and not getting involved in U.S. mistakes. Shall we take bets?

It is certainly an interesting time to be living in Japan and watching this.

See the article HERE.

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