Corporations are not like you and me. They can continue to do business by having their CEO arrested as the scapegoat, and continue to break laws. If
you and I break laws, we go to jail.
And it seems that the US is inspiring Japan to halt it's pacifism- Washington Gives the Green Light
By CHRISTOPHER REED
Japan is marching back to military power, or more precisely, "is being marched" by the United States toward a new militarism, as its neo-nationalist
prime minister Junichiro Koizumi, who like many hawks has never served in the military, acts as eager drill sergeant. Meanwhile the putative army, the
Japanese people, remains unenthusiastic.
The nation and its population are unique in the world, having honored 60 years of official pacifism since their disastrous imperialist wars from
1931-45. These ended in defeat with three million Japanese dead, and a US occupation force writing a new constitution that renounced war "forever."
That was then. Now, despite opinion polls still showing a pacifist public in the high 60s percentage, Japan's warmongers exert their influence. The
new militarism is not trumpeted, even the Pentagon's drums are muffled, but almost every week an event occurs to push six decades of peace further
In January, for instance, the Ground Self-Defense Force, the name Japan must give its well-equipped and powerful army, was for the first time ever
exercising jointly with US military for three weeks at the giant Pendleton Marine base in southern California, north of San Diego, staging amphibian
operations against an "armed guerrilla occupation" of Japanese islands. Why?
It so happens that a nasty dispute exists between Japan, China, and Taiwan, over five desolate little outcrops in the East China Sea the Japanese call
Senkaku, from the original British-named Pinnacle Rocks, and the Chinese, Diaoyu islands. Controlled by Japan since its 1895 annexation of Taiwan (an
earlier Japanese imperialist adventure), both the People's Republic and Taiwan now claim the isles for a predictable reason. Oil deposits lie around
a "median line" drawn by Japan, which has already protested drilling on the Chinese side. Fishing rights are disputed too, and Taiwan dispatched a
frigate last June as Japanese patrol boats harassed Chinese vessels.
Yet it's hardly guerrilla territory. Occasional Chinese protesters have landed, to be promptly ousted by Japanese coastguards. Amphibious commando
ops -- as well as Tokyo's development of new shallow-water torpedoes -- pose a graver threat, from Japan. Presumably that is the combative point to
be taken. It certainly fits Japan's chauvinistic foreign minister Taro Aso's explosive Christmas week assertion that China's military defense
budget (less than Japan, the world's third highest) was a "considerable threat." Beijing denounced this remark as "highly irresponsible," ending
the year's Sino-Japanese relations at the lowest point in decades.
In Tokyo other militarist steps have been taken. In the last two years Japan has passed over 10 new laws and introduced fundamental bureaucratic
"reforms" that promote the means to war or make it easier. One is the forthcoming promotion of the SDF agency to a full Ministry of Defense; another
is closer technical collaboration with US missile defense projects, contrary to Japan's ban on such ventures. More momentous events are due shortly.
The main one will modify the anti-war constitution. A draft has already been published and enactment could begin this year.
Meanwhile, the GSDF is also for the first time serving in a war zone, the Iraqi town of Samawa, where its mission of "reconstruction and humanitarian
assistance" was recently extended for another year. (Its 500 troops, protected by Australian soldiers, are almost as unpopular as Americans, and
reportedly have failed their requirement to provide reliable electricity and water.)
But the main move that threatens a new and potentially dangerous alliance between Japan's neo-militarists and Washington jingoists, was the joint
declaration in October titled "US-Japan Alliance: Transformation and Realignment for the Future." It extended Japan's previous defense-only stance
to "develop options and adapt the alliance to the changing regional and global security environment."
The inclusion of the key word "global" can be taken to mean what the title implied: a militant new Japan-US pact to transform and structurally alter
their joint military position in the world. An interesting analogy with Britain exists here: like its role in the Atlantic, Japan is to become
America's new unsinkable aircraft carrier in the north-east Pacific, something the Pentagon has longed for. As if to seal this promise at last, the
US further announced that despite a previous Japanese port ban on nuclear warships, America's replacement in Japan for the ageing USS Kitty Hawk
conventional carrier will be the atomic-powered USS George Washington, but not the originally drafted USS Harry Truman, because of that president's
A-bomb attack on Hiroshima.
[edit on 23-2-2006 by accountability]