Wednesday, December 27, 2006

Right-wing Nutjob watch

One of the goals of the right-wing emperor worshiping crowd in Japan is to bring back the Japanese military. The military that, according to the nut crowd, freed Asia (ungrateful China included. Maybe not Korea since it was already under Japanese imperialism), did no wrong in China, and was falsely accused of atrocities in Nanjing. Of course Japan suddenly and completely changed after WW2. Did a 110% flip flop into the world's most peaceful nation which didn't even have a military except for the self-defense forces (which is a non-military military). So there could never be a repeat of the imperialism or the atrocities which never happened anyway.

Over the last year in particular, it has been very interesting to watch how the new rightist-nationalist drive is being conducted. One thing that I have personally noticed in talking with people is that the idea that Japan must rethink its American written article 9 of the constitution which prohibits Japanese land, air, and sea forces (well except for the Self-defense forces for which during the Korean war it was decided that this prohibition did not apply to), is that the idea that American cannot be trusted to adhere to the security treaty with Japan. The latest I heard was, that the U.S. would not defend Japan if Japan were attacked, it would only defend its own forces in Japan You could ask how that would even be possible since many bases are near Tokyo. (We would just defend the skies above Yokota air base and ignore everywhere else?)

Notice that it isn't in this case being argued that Japan needs a military for its own reasons, but because the dirty foreigners can't be trusted to keep their word. No evidence was given, except for a claim that when North Korea launched the missiles last summer, the U.S. did not have satellites watching Japan, but only from North Korea to the US. Japan apparently had to get its own satellite because of this. (It is amazing how close this comes to being the exact opposite of a similar argument I heard. In that case, the reason Japan needed its own satellite was because the U.S. might lie and say that North Korea was doing something when it wasn't.)

The fact is, that under the security treaty that Uncle Sucker has signed with Japan, it is JAPAN who has NO duty to assist any U.S. force which is fighting in defense of Japan. The American side would not suddenly assume Japan's passive role during combat.

The right-wingers of Japan cannot seem to make a case for a stronger Japan or a more engaged Japan without attacking other countries or peoples as untrustworthy, sneaky, liars. And the U.S. is much in favor of, and supporting the new role Japan wants to play. I am sure that the government knows what these hard-line Tojo wannabes are up to, but it has made no public responses to any of them. Perhaps they view them like they do Shitaro "Blinky" Ishiara, more of an amusing, harmless, loony-bird than a threat. Or perhaps they believe that it's just necessary rhetoric in order to get the public to accept a strong military which will ultimately be good for the U.S. and the region. Given the U.S. recent record of misunderstandings and misjudgments in this type of thing, I am not reassured.

(This was from a discussion I had today with a guy---Japanese---who had read the article.)

No comments:

Post a Comment