Thursday, June 10, 2010

Japan as #3: the benefits of hiring out national defense

Japan has come in as number 3 on the totally reliable, accurate, and based in reality Global Peace Index.

This rigorous scientific survey measures such things as such as "conflicts with foreign countries, numbers of murder cases, risks of terrorism, the level of respect for human rights and military expenditures." Japan Times

There are a total of 23 areas evaluated. I am not sure if one criteria would be: "Said country should have a lop-sided---or one-sided---"security treaty"
which is somewhat weirdly referred to as an "alliance" with the country with the world's most powerful military. That would help in the area of reduced military expenditures, conflicts with foreign countries, and possibly the risk of terrorism, and it might have been enough to propel Japan ahead of warmongering #7 Luxembourg. I wonder, is the US penalized for providing personal and arms for the military security of Japan? A read of the Results and Methodology PDF at GPI's site might lead one to think so. No mention of the US military role in Japan's defense.

Would other criteria be: Does said country respect the human rights* of those of different ethnic/racial/national backgrounds? Has said country signed the Hague Convention Treaty on International Child Abductions? Not sure how those would affect the level of respect for human rights. Perhaps Japan improved four notches because we don't hear right-wingers in the government nor Hobbesian Bushidoists like Fujiwara Masahiko railing against too many human rights as much as we did a few years ago under the LDP.

A check of the GPI website shows a few other interesting tidbits which makes one wonder if the creators of The Onion are not behind this whole thing**. The main findings show that the most peaceful societies contain the following attributes in addition to the above:
  • A well-functioning government
  • High levels of freedom of information
  • Good relations with neighboring states (We can see why Japan has improved in this area compared to the Koizumi/Abe eras.)
  • Acceptance of others
(A a partial list from page 1 of the 2010 GPI Fact Sheet PDF available at the site.)

The lack of a refugee population also seems to raise the peace index of a country. Very helpful for a country like Japan that allows almost no refugees in.

A number of famous people have signed on as "Endorsers" of the GPI agreeing that: ..."without a world that is basically peaceful, it will be exceedingly difficult to solve many of the intractable problems facing humanity today." How insightful is that?

*The Results and Methodology PDF at the site uses "Levels of disrespect for human right (Political Terror Scale)" using a definition by Amnesty International/ and US Department County Reports (sic) and also refers to "Respect for Human Rights."

**It's actually
The Economist trying to measure the ultimately unmeasurable. The folks at The Onion would have more sense.

Edited several times as author cannot write, spell, or proofread because he is from the US. He also added a few items that he thought was relevant.

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