|The News Line: Editorial
Saturday, 23 February 2013
Obama is encouraging Japanese nationalism and militarism
THE new Japanese Premier, Shinzo Abe, is now in Washington in talks with President Obama, who declared last year that confronting China in the Asia Pacific region was the US’ main preoccupation.
Yesterday he was busily cementing the US alliance with Japan, which is currently stoking up war fever against China, over the Diaoyu Islands which Japan has seized and ‘nationalised’.
China is meanwhile propping up the US and world economies with its purchasing of billions of dollars of US debt. No doubt the US ruling class considers that the best way to cancel the debt is through war.
Abe was elected last December, and says that US support is ‘critical’ in Japan’s struggle with China. As part of his election campaign he visited the Yusukuni shrine in Tokyo where all of the major Japanese war criminals, executed by ‘the allies’ at the end of the Second World War, are buried.
China fiercely criticised Abe for the comments he made before he left for the US. He told the Washington Post newspaper that China had a ‘deeply ingrained’ need for conflict with Japan and other countries in the region.
Abe, who heads a Liberal Democratic Party administration, has spoken out about the need to prioritise the Japan-US alliance amid a changing regional situation.
As well, as soon as he came to office in January he declared for inflation and currency wars, and a weakening of the yen. He announced that he would spend an extra $114bn in the three months to April on developing the Japanese export drive.
Both China and Japan now have ships in waters around the islands – known as Senkaku in Japan and Diaoyu in China – leading to fears of an armed clash and war.
Abe said about China: ‘It is important for us to have them recognise that it is impossible to try to get their way by coercion or intimidation. In that regard, the Japan-US alliance, as well as the US presence, would be critical.’
US officials have long urged Japan to boost its military, tear up the pacifist no-war constitution imposed by the US post 1945, and rearm.
Abe responded to this during his election campaign stating: ‘Who can protect Japan’s beautiful seas? Who can protect our territory and our people’s lives?’, while standing before a huge Japanese national flag.
‘The crisis is before our very eyes…We will take back our country, our nation,’ he declared.
The United States has been welcoming, even encouraging Japanese nationalist politicians as long as they are willing to pay their own military bill.
Japanese democrats hope that when the US realises ‘the Japanese right is going too far and setting Japan on a collision course with China that might require American involvement’ – the US will draw back.
On the contrary, the US is encouraging the revival of Japanese militarism and imperialism as essential for confronting China, and cancelling the US debt – when the US gives the word.
Things are now moving on. Osaka Mayor Toru Hashimoto’s Japan Restoration Party, officially headed by former Tokyo Governor Shintaro Ishihara, during the election called for Japan, the only country to suffer an atomic bombing, to develop nuclear arms.
Abe and Obama are also expected to discuss the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP), a proposal for a free-trade agreement between countries in North America, Asia and South America.
Japan has discussed becoming part of the TPP over the years. But this has been met with opposition from farmers, who say that tariff removals will have a negative impact on their industry.
The US giant agro-monopolies will steamroller Japan’s farmers, but the TPP will allow Japanese imperialism to exploit the Americas and Asia as a junior partner of the US. The Japanese military consider that the need for this alignment is the main lesson from the Second World War.
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