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Round 1. Lucasman vs. The Vagabond: Rising Sun

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posted on Mar, 27 2006 @ 08:39 AM
The topic for this debate is "Japan must not re-arm, in light of its actions in WWII".

Lucasman will be arguing the pro position and will open the debate.
The Vagabond will argue the con position.

Each debater will have one opening statement each. This will be followed by 3 alternating replies each. There will then be one closing statement each and no rebuttal.

No post will be longer than 800 words and in the case of the closing statement no longer than 500 words.

Credits or references at the bottom do not count towards the word total.

Editing is strictly forbidden. This means any editing, for any reason. Any edited posts will be completely deleted.

Opening and closing statements must not contain any images, and must have no more than 3 references. Excluding both the opening and closing statements, only one image and no more than 5 references can be included for each post.

Responses should be made within 24 hours, if people are late with their replies, they run the risk of forfeiting their reply and possibly the debate.

Judging will be done by a panel of anonymous judges. After each debate is completed it will be locked and the judges will begin making their decision. One of the debate forum moderators will then make a final post announcing the winner.

This debate is now open, good luck to both of you

[edit on 27-3-2006 by Nygdan]

posted on Mar, 27 2006 @ 04:13 PM
Thanks Ngydan and good luck to The Vagabond.

First we must address what rearming actually means. Rearming is the building up of a military force after one has been effectively been disbanded. Now let's look at this in the context of Japan. Japan's military has been effectively disbanded since the end of World War 2 as part of the peace agreement at the end of the war.

Second, we will discuss how Japan is already in a sense imperialist. Since teh 1970's, Japan has been attempting somewhat of a rearming movement. It was mostly just hardware and software, no actual combat ready vehiciles. This just shows how they are gearing up for the day that they will again rearm. Secondly is thier economy. Thier economy is imperialist because it controls almost the entire devolping industries of electronics and computer type programs.

Lastly, we will discuss how present actions have lead to fear of Japan rearming through out Eastern Asia. From the Japanese president visiting a war shrine to them devolping thier small security force, countries throughout Eastern Asia are fearing Japanese expansion for one reason, resources. Japan is in the same position that they were in World War II, stuck on an island with no resources. They will expand for these resources.

So, put in simple terms: Japan needs resources, and they will take them if they need.

posted on Mar, 27 2006 @ 06:48 PM
Greetings and thanks to the moderators and judges who have made this tournament possible, and for the excellent range of topics. Also welcome and good luck to my opponent, lucasman. Now... let’s get it on!

The question before us is one of morality and legality, not of abstract fears. If we were to judge this issue by the fear, virtually every nation would demand the disarmament of virtually every other nation, and we would have yet another “war to end all wars”.

The tragic, bloody history of World War II has inspired much animosity. It is understandable that people are still angry and distrustful, but we cannot become prejudiced by old grudges. We cannot forsake the path which is most conducive to peace, stability, and international cooperation simply because we are prejudiced by our inability to forgive.

Prejudice and fear are the cornerstones of ignorance, and these abominations have already presented themselves in the affirmative argument. (I stress that I do not apply these labels to my opponent, but only to the position which he must defend.)

How can prejudice seriously be denied by a position which finds something to fear in Japan’s Self-Defense Forces, which are small by my opponents own admission? (240,000 troops for a nation of 127.4 Million is about half the per-capita strength of France or the NYPD, and Japan spends less than half of the NATO average on defense, as a percentage of GDP)

How dangerously reactionary must the affirmative side be to find an imperialist threat lurking behind Japan’s electronics industry? So they make a lot of DVD players- how does that give them hegemony over anyone, except perhaps a few couch potatoes who aren’t even worth ruling?

Japan is in no position to threaten it’s neighbors. If Japan were to double it’s military spending and per capita force levels, thus bringing itself roughly to NATO averages, it would still be nowhere near sufficient to threaten China or North Korea, both of which have a nuclear deterrent and much larger militaries. Nor could it threaten South Korea, which enjoys American protection, or begin once more with expansion to the South without bringing opposition from Australia, and thus from the UK and all Commonwealth nations.
Japan is not geographically and strategically capable of posing a serious threat to its neighbors.

Japan is however politically and economically positioned to be an incredible positive force in the international community. Japan has forsaken belligerence, and no reversal of this is implied by the topic of debate, and therefore internationalism is a vital component of Japan’s strategy for security and prosperity. Japan must have the military capacity to legally defend itself without preemption and to participate in legal UN operations as a way of gaining the good will of other nations.

In this debate, I will demonstrate that Japan has a legitimate need to rearm, as well as moral and legal justification for rearmament. Japan’s sovereign rights and place in the international community must be acknowledged.

(Word Perfect: 498 words)


posted on Mar, 27 2006 @ 11:28 PM
First I would like to explain all how my argument style goes. I will briefly sum up my opponents arguments, then answer them with my own.

My opponent argued that it’s a matter of legality and morality, not fears. But what my opponent seems to be missing is that the type of rearming Japan is considering happens to be of the nuclear dimension. This would be in violation of the Anti-Proliferation Treaty and as such, would undermine any success the US and the rest of the countries in negotiations with both Iran and North Korea of their own nuclear programs. The rearming of Japan would cause instability in these areas.

Although I have yes admitted that Japan’s self defense force is small, that does not take into account that technologically they are superior. Since World War II, Japan has had the ability to focus primarily on technology and economy. Both are key factors for any country looking to become a military power. And, as was stated in my opening statement, since the 1970’s Japan has been updating the technology of their security forces. Combine that with the fact that they are indeed in a military alliance with the United States, one of the most militarily advanced countries in the world, and obviously Japan can be viewed as a threat.

The threat of imperialism by Japan’s economy is viewed in the same lens as the threat of the United State’s. When you see that predominately Japan has control of the electronic and technology markets, not just limited to DVD players my friends, but to other things that our world runs on, like computers, equipment to go into satellites, as well as other technology, it rules the market of technology throughout its portion of the world.

My opponent’s argument that even if Japan were to increase both the spending and per capita force levels is flawed for one reason. It doesn’t take into account the technological edge that Japan would have. Assume that China and North Korea would both have a larger army. Also assume that they have nuclear deterrents. As was discussed above in the North Korea situation, the sheer fact that Japan would rearm and strive for the bomb would make situations worse in North Korea. Also, with American assistance, Japan would have the most technologically advanced military in the region, and as was shown in the War in Afghanistan, technology and smart troop deployments and movements can win you battles.

Japan has not forsaken belligerence. The Japanese president has visited a war shrine, as well as manipulation within the text books of Japanese students to make the war look more glorious on their side, obviously shows they have not given up belligerence, if only still privately retained. The fact that Japan has also never formally apologized or given any type of grievance towards their actions in World War II is enough doubt in the minds of people that the possibility could exist for them to want to expand.

The debate needs to be viewed in the lens of the fact that there is still motive for Japan to want to expand, and rearming would give them the means to do it. Also, It need’s to be viewed in the sense of what would the consequences be of a Japanese rearmament. The situations with both Iran and North Korea would steadily get worse from the violation of creating nuclear weapons under the Non Proliferation Treaty. Lastly, this debate does need to be viewed in the sense of morality and legality. It would be illegal for Japan to rearm, as stated which would involve nuclear weapons, and it would be immoral to allow these actions to happen when they only hamper what we have worked hard to stop, proliferation.

My opponent is likely to make the argument that Japan has the sovereign right to rearm, as well as to take a place in the international community. What I would like to point out in this logic is the fact that you need not be a military power to be a part of the international community. Also, no country has the sovereign right to expand armies past their needed capabilities, which the Japanese Security Forces fits right now.

Reference: Christian Science Monitor in 2003 (Pacifist Japan beefs up military
The island nation's neighbors watch closely, but not all experts see reason for alarm.
By Robert Marquand)

Microsoft Word Count: 706

posted on Mar, 28 2006 @ 02:18 AM
Man, something about my opponent’s argument sounded so familiar, but I just can’t place it... Wait a minute, it’s coming to me...

“Facing clear evidence of peril, we cannot wait for the final proof -- the smoking gun -- that could come in the form of a mushroom cloud.”
Yeah, that’s it.

It is understandable that my opponent would like to change the topic to whether or not Japan should acquire nuclear weapons since Japan clearly has no capability to do harm with conventional forces, but that simply is not the issue here, as my opponent would know if he were not relying on speculative political analysis from 2003.

This issue was solved after the National Defense Policy Outline of 2004. Try something less than a year old, from an official source:
Overview of Japanese Defense Policy

Japan is buying Theater Missile Defense systems from the United States- PAC 3 and SM-3 for Aegis. They are not building nuclear weapons. They have a deal in place to send Plutonium from their fast reactors to Europe. In light of the facts, one can hardly argue that Japan is going to make matters worse with North Korea or Iran.

Regardless of their technological might, Japan lacks the ability to take and hold territory on the Asian mainland. America’s military is indisputably the technological forerunner in the world, for now. America’s forces in Iraq are nearly equal to the entirety of Japan’s Ground Defense Forces, and America cannot consolidate control over Iraq. How can anyone seriously claim then that Japan can take and control any territory over Chinese opposition?

Japan has been less than warlike with North Korea; in May 2004 they were able to gain the release of several Japanese citizen abducted by North Korea, and pledged 250,000 tons of rice as well as $10 Million in aid to North Korea. They have shown no interest in territorial expansion and have clearly decided that their interests are best served by leading the way as responsible and active members of the global community, which includes a desire to participate in UN peace keeping and humanitarian efforts.
US-Japan Relations: Issues For Congress

Japan has worked hard to be a responsible member of the international community and has begun to embrace a role commensurate with a nation of its size and power. Japan is prepared to begin shouldering its fair share of the international burden. This must not opposed, unless it is the intention of the international community to ostracize the Japanese people by declaring to them that because they are not Europeans they have no place in the world other than to be isolated and accept the circumstances thrust upon them. Who are these high and mighty few who would presume to have run of the world and a say over Japan’s right to participate on an equal footing? Those who have not been forced to give up their militaries under nuclear threat. Even Germany, which did as much as Japan in WWII, but was allowed to rearm simply because this was militarily convenient for the power brokers during the Cold War.

There has also been a rather amusing effort from my opponent to assert that Japan has the world by the micro-processors and is subverting the sovereignty of other nations through economic imperialism which can be viewed “in the same lens as that of the United States”.

Last I checked, the United States was invading people right and left. I don’t see that from Japan. I see Japanese token forces numbering only in the hundreds being forced to tag along in non-combat roles in order to add a thin pretense of internationalism. And why is this done? Because Japan is economically and defensively dependent on the United States, and as such cannot walk its own line; yet another reason why Japan should have its own military forces, so that it might be more free to take a moral and legal stand. It is clear that Japan would do this. Do you not recall the hostility with which Japan met released hostages from Iraq, who had violated government orders not to travel there?

Nor do I see this mighty Japanese monopoly on the electronics industry. Ever heard of India? You know, that inconspicuous and sparsely populated thing to the South of China where Microsoft and AOL out-source many jobs? It’s not as if Japan can just “unplug” the world.

So much for the nukes, so much for the flimsy “economic imperialism” argument, so much for the slippery Korean slope, and so much for the straw man of an argument that a hyper-technological Japanese juggernaut will devour Asia. I’m planning a novel experiment for tomorrow: discussing the law rather than paranoia. Be sure to tune in.

(Word Perfect: 790)

posted on Mar, 28 2006 @ 10:59 PM
While my opponent tries vainly comparing me to George W. Bush, he misses something key in his analysis about how Japan may not acquire nuclear weapons. His official source is from the Japan Defense Strategy, and while he claims that they are not going to harm any other countries, the fact that if the do rearm, some aspects of the Defense strategy would have to change. And if parts of it are going to have to change to accommodate a rearming, who is to say that the part talking about nuclear weapons could stay the same.

Next I would like to discuss how my opponent seriously underestimates technologically how advanced Japan is. First, they could take North Korea in a fight, not because of manpower, but because of the fact that they are more technologically advanced than North Korea is. Also, while it does take some troops to occupy a country, expansions of our military technologies, such as spy planes, spy cameras, and landmines have effectively made it possible for an occupation to take less troops than my opponent suggests.

Even if my opponent wins that Japan may not expand out into North Korea, I would like to point out how his point that he tries to make actually helps the case for not rearming Japan. He talks of pledged help to North Korea in both monetary and food terms. Would North Korea be as receptive to these types of things if the country it was receiving them from decided it was time to start building more military. Also, North Korea may very well view Japan as the appropriate mediator, while a rearmed Japan may very well be seen as another threat to both their sovereignty and any trust they had built with Japan.

My opponent views international power in terms of your current standing military. This is flawed for a couple of reasons. Japan can and recently has been involved in the international community without having to be rearmed. As stated above, they have pledged to help North Korea currently, which proves the case as to why they don’t need to have weapons to be powerful in the international arena. Also, they use this view of military as power is what has led us into the conflict in Iraq currently. The United States decided itself that they only power that could be effective against Saddam Hussein was military power. We refused to try any other courses of action. The mentality that international power comes from your standing army is leading to more conflicts around the world.

Another point that my opponent continues to overlook is that fact that Japan is doing things that are seemingly hostile. Actions such as the Japanese president visiting a war shrine to the distortion of history in text books all prove that Japan hasn’t come far enough since World War II to allow them to rearm.

As what mandated by the topic, all I have to prove is that Japan should not rearm in light of their actions in World War II. Now, the fact that they have refused to apologize for any actions that were committed there in, the fact that the Japanese president has visited this war shrine, and the fact that Japanese history books are giving a distorted view of World War II, these are all reasons why they shouldn’t be allowed to rearm. Add on to the fact they are working better as diplomats without a stronger military, and are viewed as more trust worthy middlemen because of their lack of a stronger military, you have to see that as long as Japan does not rearm, tensions in that area will not ease.

I would like my opponent to grace us with his “legality” arguments when they fact that Japan has refused to apologize, or simply admit it was wrong in World War II has not happened, I see no legal reason why Japan should be allowed to rearm.

posted on Mar, 29 2006 @ 01:41 AM
So far discussion has focused mainly on vague notions of potential threats that Japan spontaneously may impose on its neighbors, or that its neighbors may create by over-reacting to rearmament.
These concerns, if made specific and compelling, which so far has not been accomplished, would certainly have their place in a cost-benefit analysis.
My opponent, however, would like for you to presume that paranoid delusions are paramount, with no consideration of any other factor. These delusions are predicated on a slippery slope fallacy using a series of highly non-sequitur “ifs”.

If Japan were to rearm (news flash: modest, non-threatening rearmament has been taking place ever since the 1952 Mutual Security Assistance Pact. This has not precluded peaceful overtures to North Korea, as my opponent suggested) my opponent irrationally concludes that their defense-only policy MUST change, and IF it changes, then it will fight wars like Iraq and “who is to say that” it won’t involve nuclear weapons.
(“Who is to say” denotes an appeal to ignorance fallacy. The burden of proof is on the claim, not on the refutation thereof.)

The question at issue here is far too important to be decided as a knee jerk reaction to unsupported sensationalist claims that a boogeyman which has not been seen in 3 generations will suddenly reemerge to destroy us without cause or provocation.

My opponent attempted to pass off obscure, outdated, speculative information to support the hopelessly indefensible position he has been assigned, but he got burned. Now he’s decided to introduce no evidence whatsoever in this round and carry the “fear defense” entirely on his own imagination, even speculating on Japan’s abilities versus N. Korea. Apparently he knows something that General Thomas Schwartz does not, as he has testified to Congress that even US forces presently in Korea could potentially be annihilated in as little as 3 hours. Source

We must examine all factors and weigh them against one another in a reasonable manner to determine whether the memory of WWII outweighs the clear legal, moral, and practical necessity of Japanese rearmament.

The Japanese people forswore belligerence through Article 9 of their Constitution, which despite being proposed by America as a consequence of WWII, was affirmed by a democratically elected Japanese government. Disarmament does not exist in an explicitly permanent form in the Implements of Surrender and therein referred to Potsdam Declaration which call for the disbanding of the disbanding of the military, but not necessarily in perpetuity, as implied by the affirmation of Japan’s sovereignty and independence (article 10, Potsdam Declaration).
These treaties are given appropriate context by subsequent treaties, namely the 1952 and 1960 mutual defense treaties mentioned here, under which the United States implicitly avowed the temporary nature of Japanese disarmament by arming Japan.
Consequently there can be no argument that international law prohibits Japan from amending its constitution and completing rearmament for the purpose of assisting in UN efforts.

There is no legal reason why Japan must not rearm.

The question which remains is whether or not Japan has a morally justifiable need to rearm. Rearmament is an integral component of Japan’s leadership role. Only by rearming can Japan accept its full share of responsibility for maintaining the world which it does business with.

It is the responsibility of every economic power to be active in the international community so that peace and respect for human rights are observed in those places where the economic power conducts business.
If Japan were to obtain resources from Sudan, for example, the blood of the people of Darfur would be on Japan’s hands. Japan must first be willing and able to lead the demand for UN efforts there, so that business done there will not be done on the backs of the oppressed. How can Japan do this with any credibility as an unarmed nation?

Shall their ambassador to the UN stand up and say “All of you who have militaries must send your sons to Sudan to risk their lives in defense of the oppressed, so that Japan may profit with a clean conscience.”

Clearly not. Japan is a first world country, benefitting greatly from their place in the global community, and it is not only their right but their duty to put themselves forward among the leaders of this community. This cannot be done as an isolationist country. They will be expected to lead from the front if anyone is to join them.

There is a practical and moral reason why Japan MUST rearm.

My opponent has so far offered us nothing but fears, vague allusions, and logical fallacies. His one piece of evidence was refuted yesterday. His interpretation of the question simply presumes his position to be correct. Given the above, how could it be?

(Word Perfect: 790)

posted on Mar, 29 2006 @ 09:28 PM
I appologize to Vagabond, Nygdan, and everyone else who may have been watching this debate. But as per family problems I won't be able to finish the debate. In the state of mind I am currently in, I will not be able to give the debating the Vagabon deserves, as if I have been giving it at all. I appologize for the waste of time that I have been, but as I said before, family problems have arisen and make it impossible for me to be able to finish the debate. I would like to tell Vagabond good job, that I was very honored to debate against him, and that maybe someday in the future, if and when everything gets sorted out here, I would be able to debate him again. Next time, I promise, I will be better prepared and give you more of a run for your money.

posted on Mar, 30 2006 @ 07:54 PM
No problem lucasman, this 'real life' place seems to interfere with internet life sometimes. Keep your eye open for future tournaments.

Vagabond moves forward to Round 2.

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