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Guest Post: Shinzo Abe’s Nationalist Strategy

Tyler Durden's picture


Submitted by Kosuke Takahashi via The Diplomat,

The world is now beginning to realize Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s true intentions. With his controversial visit to the Yasukuni shrine, which memorializes war dead, including Class A war criminals such as Hideki Tojo, he is no longer hesitant to reveal his true nature: without question, the most conservative leader in Japan’s postwar history. And he is a historical revisionist, notably with respect to wartime Japan. By encouraging a spirit of nationalism, Abe is hoping to engender self-confidence and patriotism among the Japanese public.

But what exactly is his future agenda? To understand Abe’s political ambitions, you need to understand their take on modern Japan.

For mainstream Japanese conservatives such as the Abe family, Tokyo has been shackled since it accepted the judgments of the International Military Tribunal for the Far East, known as the Tokyo Trials. For one thing, as a defeated nation Japan has always been forced to take a servile position— militarily and diplomatically—toward the U.S., the World War II victor. And Japan has had to repeatedly bow its head to its neighbors, such as China and South Korea, to apologize for its conduct during the war.

Willingly or not, Japan embraced these two international restraints when it signed the San Francisco Peace Treaty in 1951, hoping to return to the fold of the international community as an independent nation.

More than 60 years later, though, the Abe administration wants to free Japan from these perceived shackles. In his own words, he is seeking a “departure from the postwar regime” by “bringing back Japan.” Although Abe has never said from “what” he will bring back the nation, many Japanese believe what he meant is to bring back a militarily, diplomatically and economically strong Japan from the political and economic abyss of the past decades, and perhaps in the long term from the U.S. itself.

Although Abe’s popularity has recently tapered somewhat from the heady days early in this, his second stint as prime minister, many Japanese still support his nationalistic program, because they feel that Japan lacks strength and needs to stand on its own feet, amid mounting nationalism in East Asia and a rising China.

So, to return to the question: What is Abe’s grand strategy? In fact, Abe has a three-year plan to accomplish his ultimate goal of having Japan “depart from the postwar regime.”

Abe’s Three-Year Plan

During the first year of his second term in office 2013, Abe proposed a move from “passive pacifism” to a “proactive pacifism” that encourages Japan to contribute more proactively to world peace and international cooperation. He then established a Japanese National Security Council (NSC). He also announced the first National Security Strategy (NSS) and the National Defense Programme Guidelines (NDPG) that introduced the concept of “a Dynamic Joint Defense Force.” This new concept emphasizes the Self-Defense Forces’ (SDF) joint operations and interoperability capability at sea, in the air and on land, and bolster the nation’s defensive posture in the southwest—in particular the Nansei island chain that includes Okinawa and the disputed Senkaku/Diaoyu islands in the East China Sea.

Over the last year, Abe’s government has also enacted a controversial secrecy law to prevent leaks of state secrets, after it was pressured by the U.S. to tighten the confidentiality of their shared intelligence on security.

Now, in his second year, Abe is trying to reinterpret the constitution to allow for the exercise of the right of collective self-defense. Abe will also formally abolish Japan’s decades-old ban on weapons exports this year. In January, his administration revised textbook screening guidelines to give Japanese children a more patriotic take on modern Japanese history and to better reflect the government’s view on territorial issues such as on Senkaku Islands. Abe has also succeeded in placing four conservative intellectuals with whom he has very close ties on Japan’s public television NHK’s management board. Some of their comments have already stirred considerable controversy.

In this third year, 2015, Abe plans to change Article 9 of the U.S.-imposed pacifist constitution, accomplishing his final goal of escaping from the postwar regime.

This three-year plan seeks to boost national security and could lead to Japanese involvement in conflicts abroad in the future.

Shinichi Kitaoka, a former Japanese ambassador to the United Nations and a key Abe adviser, remarked recently that all of these steps are simply trying to bring Japan closer to a “normal country.” Kitaoka is now deputy chairman of Abe’s Advisory Panel on Reconstruction of the Legal Basis for Security, which is expected to recommend reinterpreting Japan’s war-renouncing Constitution to lift the self-imposed ban on the right to exercise collective self-defense in April.

Abe’s Historical Perspective

An attempt at bringing Japan out of the postwar regime in terms of national security issues will inevitably require the country to address the issue of its historical view, sparking a national debate on modern history.

In this context, Abe’s visit to the Yasukuni Shrine is a manifest of his determination to accomplish his final goal. He needs to unite at least his conservative allies and supporters within Japanese political circles amid domestic and foreign opposition.

The most important question to come out of his visit to the shrine is whether Abe really thinks that Japan’s wartime leaders, such as Hideki Tojo and Abe’s own grandfather Nobusuke Kishi, a Class A war crimes suspect by order of the Supreme Commander of the Allied Powers, did the wrong thing or not during the war.

It is apparent that Abe believes they were innocent. His book Towards a Beautiful Country: My Vision For Japan, published in 2006, is revealing on this and other aspects of the prime minister’s thinking.

In the book, he says that Japanese war-time leaders bore the greatest share of responsibility, but pointed out that the majority of the public also supported the military strongly. He cited as an example of this strong public support, major newspapers that fed the war frenzy with front-page headlines like “(We) Should Fight Adamantly.” He also notes that Class A war criminals were brought before the Tokyo Trials on charges of “crimes against peace” and “crimes against humanity,” based on concepts formed after the war, questioning the legitimacy of the trials. He goes on to note that Japanese domestic laws do not deal with Tojo et al as criminals; indeed, the government continued to pay their pensions after the war.

In this book, Abe quotes Father Bruno Bitter, representative of the Roman Curia, who, when asked by the supreme commander of the U.S. occupying force how to deal with Yasukuni Shrine, said, “Any nation has the right and obligation to pay tributes to the warriors who died for the nation.” Abe also makes the Arlington cemetery comparison, as he has done recently.

Of course, Abe is on record repeatedly defending Japan’s conduct before and during World War II. On April 23 last year, Abe even told the Diet that he does not believe Japan’s occupation of other Asian countries during the war can be considered “invasions.” According to Abe, that’s because there are no set international or academic definitions of the word “invasion.” He claimed, “It depends on the point of view of individual countries.” He later retracted his remark after his hawkish stance was criticized by China and South Korea, saying “I never say Japan did not invade.” An editorial in The New York Times titled “Japan’s Unnecessary Nationalism” was critical: “…it seems especially foolhardy for Japan to inflame hostilities with China and South Korea when all countries need to be working cooperatively to resolve the problems with North Korea and its nuclear program.”

Abe’s historical revisionism, combined with Japan’s military buildup, will continue to cause needless friction with China and South Korea. However, Russia and the U.S. may also grow worried that Abe’s approach will further shake the foundations of the postwar order. Russia’s concerns likely center on the disputed islands, called the Southern Kurils by the Russians and the Northern Territories by the Japanese, which it claims it acquired legitimately as a result of the war.

U.S.-Japan Relations

What kind of relations does Abe want with the U.S., Japan’s closest ally? Here, his views are very shaped by his grandfather Nobusuke Kishi.

Although this is not widely known outside Japan, Kishi sought an independent approach when it came to relations with the U.S., especially around the time the two nations revised the U.S.-Japan Security Treaty in 1960. Ukeru Magosaki, Japan’s former ambassador to Iran and Uzbekistan, told The Diplomat that Kishi was a politician who sought diplomatic independence, rather than one willing to accept diplomatic subservience to Washington.

Abe praised Kishi’s approach in his book Towards a Beautiful Country, saying “Grandfather at that time tried to fulfill the requirements of an independent nation by changing this unilateral treaty into a more equal one. Looking back, [Kishi] took a very realistic approach of strengthening U.S.-Japan ties to realize Japan’s independence.”

Now Abe is trying to do the same. He wants to enhance Japan’s role in the U.S.-Japan Security Treaty by authorizing the use of the right to collective self-defense so as to contribute to U.S. global strategy. He believes that by assuming a greater role in U.S.-Japan security cooperation and by placing the U.S.-Japan relationship on a more equal footing, Japan can better stand up to the U.S., such as on the issue of U.S. military bases in Okinawa. Again, his book provides evidence of this.

But his nationalistic behavior has ratcheted up already strained tensions with China and South Korean, particularly over the Senkaku/Diaoyu islands dispute. The U.S. surely doesn’t want to get involved in unnecessary military conflicts with a powerful and intractable rising China, its security treaty with Japan notwithstanding. As a consequence, more and more U.S. officials may rate Abe a security risk if he continues down his current path. That could very quickly force Abe to return his emphasis to continuity, rather than his departure from the postwar order.


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Thu, 02/13/2014 - 23:23 | 4435173 NoDebt
NoDebt's picture

So he is trying to assert Japan as a "partner" of the US and further align himself with US interests, including taking a larger role militarily, but still under the US umbrella?

Sorry, but that's a but of a stretch.  

If I was US ally I would have gotten the REAL message by now:  you're on your own.  And taken action as such (act as badass as possible on your own, without officially pissing off the US)

Thu, 02/13/2014 - 23:51 | 4435243 booboo
booboo's picture

Probably the same as the other Abe, float some boats into their harbor, demand tribute to the State, shove a stick in their ass and attack them under the guise of freeing their slaves. If the Japs are lucky some kubuki actor will shoot him in the back of the head and their national monument will be like ours, a lawyer/lobbyist sitting in a Lazyboy overlooking a swamp, some call it the Lincoln Memorial.


Fri, 02/14/2014 - 00:07 | 4435292 DoChenRollingBearing
DoChenRollingBearing's picture

China may be making a big mistake in the longer view by antagonizing Japan.  If China screws itself (very possible despite what the go-go MSM says), then Japan may wind up being the local tough guy.

I would like to see Korea find a rational way to be a an ally of Japan.  Old wounds hurt, but China is more of a problem NOW than Japan is.

Fri, 02/14/2014 - 00:20 | 4435331 ACP
ACP's picture

Sounds like the writer is the kind of guy who would be offended by the fact that the space battleship in the Star Blazers cartoon is called the "Yamato".

Fri, 02/14/2014 - 01:12 | 4435464 CrazyCooter
CrazyCooter's picture

Wiki isn't responding for me ... just wanted to cite the story how the Yamato was sunk.



Fri, 02/14/2014 - 01:27 | 4435502 Flakmeister
Flakmeister's picture

Going out as the naval equivalent of a Banzai charge has got to be better than the way the Shinano went down...

And say what you will, the Yamato was a tough ship....

Fri, 02/14/2014 - 02:04 | 4435523 CrazyCooter
CrazyCooter's picture

I never got Wiki to respond, oddly enough. Wasn't it an American Destroyer (?) that got too close (i.e. under the guns) and just unloaded torpedos absent the destructive gunfire, round after round, before being sunk too late by the smaller fire?



EDIT: Maybe I confused naval battles.

Fri, 02/14/2014 - 02:06 | 4435577 Flakmeister
Flakmeister's picture

Planes got her...

From Wiki: The Yamato was hit with 11 torpedos and 6 bombs...

Why couldn't the Japanese ships have the common decency to just quickly blow up and be done with it. You know, like the Hood, or the ironically named Invincible...

Fri, 02/14/2014 - 05:40 | 4435766 The Black Bishop
The Black Bishop's picture

This is what I call shit hitting the fan,  bigtime...

Fri, 02/14/2014 - 11:37 | 4436450 Flakmeister
Flakmeister's picture

Nice.... ever see another ship of His Majesty's go up? Here is the HMS Barham

On 25 November 1941 at 4.25pm, while steaming to cover an attack on Italian convoys with the battleships Queen ElizabethValiant and an escort of eight destroyers, Barham was hit by three torpedoes from the German submarine U-331, commanded by Lieutenant Hans-Dietrich von Tiesenhausen. Leading Telegraphist A.R. Bacon remained at his station following the first attack to alert accompanying ships of the presence of U-331, which greatly aided the search and rescue. The torpedoes were fired from a range of only 750 yards providing no time for evasive action, and struck so closely together as to throw up a single massive water column. As she rolled over to port, her magazines exploded and she quickly sank with the loss of nearly two thirds of the crew. The explosion was caught on camera by Gaumont News cameraman John Turner, who was on the deck of the nearby Valiant. Out of a crew of approximately 1,184 officers and men, 841 were killed. The survivors were rescued by the other British ships.

Fri, 02/14/2014 - 10:58 | 4436324 clawsthatscratch
clawsthatscratch's picture

Never name a ship offends the gods

Fri, 02/14/2014 - 11:38 | 4436454 Flakmeister
Flakmeister's picture

Dat be true..

Thu, 02/13/2014 - 23:21 | 4435174 ManWithaPlan
ManWithaPlan's picture

Good I am getting tired of the Hello Kitty Japan...Gimme some good ol Imperial Japan aww ya USA needs a good ally for world domination.

Thu, 02/13/2014 - 23:34 | 4435205 Dr. Destructo
Fri, 02/14/2014 - 09:22 | 4436035 rbg81
rbg81's picture

I think its a good thing that Japan is more nationalist these days.  For one thing, it makes us less responsible for their defense.  For another thing, if they don't get tougher, China will just roll over them.  If they think they can count on Obama to have their back, they are delusional.  Somehow I don't think they'll be bombing Pearl Harbor again.

Thu, 02/13/2014 - 23:45 | 4435194 suteibu
suteibu's picture

“Grandfather at that time tried to fulfill the requirements of an independent nation by changing this unilateral treaty into a more equal one. Looking back, [Kishi] took a very realistic approach of strengthening U.S.-Japan ties to realize Japan’s independence.”

A couple of things here.  Ozawa also sought to create a "more equal" relationship with the US (He wrote about the idea in 1993 "Blueprint for a New Japan").  In fact, Hatoyama (Ozawa's surrogate) won power in 2009 based on this concept.  It was the Obama administration and Abe's LDP party who attacked the notion which led to the ouster of both Hatoyama and Ozawa from power, paving the way for Kan who immediately declared the Japan/US alliance the core of Japan's East Asian FP.  In the end, Abe's increased interest in all things military are not new ideas.  The US has been pressuring Japan to make all of these changes since the first Gulf War.  Abe may be building patriotism in Japan to achieve this, but I think it has little to do with Japan seeking independence from the US. (Edit to add:  note his enthusiam for signing Obama's TPP free trade agreement and his push for the new American base in Okinawa)

As for the last sentence, it seems akin to Bush's declaration that he had to destroy capitalism in order to save it.  What is not known to most Americans is that the "meek" Japanese took to the streets in often violent protests over the government's weakness in dealing with the US at the time.  It was Japan's economic growth that ultimately stifled the dissent.

Fri, 02/14/2014 - 04:58 | 4435716 Lore
Lore's picture

The grandfather quote strikes me as classic doublethink, but then, double standards are the hallmark of modern international relations. Any strenuous attempt to impose too much of one truthy narrative at the expense of others is liable to piss somebody off.  One learns quickly to appreciate the necessity of subtlety, ambiguity and tact.

(Tangentially, I wonder if Canada's Prime Minister Harper is trying to accomplish / frame / reinforce the same sort of double standard with his recent extrinsically bizarre actions in Israel.  Can a national leader suck up to another nation without being seen merely as a suck-up?  I'm tired of trying to defend him to others when I cannot defend him to myself.  "Need more information.")

Interesting stuff, that's for sure.  Japan in mid-life crisis could be problematic for the region.  Of course, you could say the same thing about lots of neighbors.  As usual, who controls the oil calls the shots.

Thu, 02/13/2014 - 23:32 | 4435196 disabledvet
disabledvet's picture

Stood out to me that Japan was big into the Phillipine relief effort.
"All great journeys start with a single step."

Fri, 02/14/2014 - 01:22 | 4435488 CrazyCooter
CrazyCooter's picture

Was it an all japanese "man force" comforting the women?



Thu, 02/13/2014 - 23:35 | 4435203 max2205
max2205's picture

I'll believe it when they stop distorting genatilia in porn

Thu, 02/13/2014 - 23:45 | 4435219 Atomizer
Atomizer's picture

Ask yourself this question: When have you heard Obama state the following remarks he once claimed? And bow before his kingpins?



  • Making sure your tires are properly inflated, simple thing, but we could save all the oil that they’re talking about getting off drilling, if everybody was just inflating their tires and getting regular tune-ups. You could actually save just as much.
  • We need to steer clear of this poverty of ambition, where people want to drive fancy cars and wear nice clothes and live in nice apartments but don't want to work hard to accomplish these things. Everyone should try to realize their full potential.
  • I can make a firm pledge, under my plan, no family making less than $250,000 a year will see any form of tax increase. Not your income tax, not your payroll tax, not your capital gains taxes, not any of your taxes
  • We cannot continue to rely only on our military in order to achieve the national security objectives that we've set. We've got to have a civilian national security force that's just as powerful, just as strong, just as well-funded.
  • I think when you spread the wealth around it's good for everybody.
  • I found this national debt, doubled, wrapped in a big bow waiting for me as I stepped into the Oval Office.
  • If you're looking for the safe choice, you shouldn't be supporting a black guy named Barack Obama to be the next leader of the free world.
Fri, 02/14/2014 - 00:06 | 4435284 DoChenRollingBearing
DoChenRollingBearing's picture

Nice summary of the Liar-in-Chief.

Fri, 02/14/2014 - 02:00 | 4435566 Atomizer
Atomizer's picture

By simply driving his own words back, the flies will return. Of course, the WH/MSM will never comment on his nefarious statements.

Thu, 02/13/2014 - 23:47 | 4435238 merizobeach
merizobeach's picture

"his true nature: without question, the most conservative leader in Japan’s postwar history."

Bullshit.  He's a eunuch.  He just seems like the "worst guy ever", like Obama, because he's the asshole in the chair right now.  They're all "the worst"; it's the nature of sociopathy.

Thu, 02/13/2014 - 23:55 | 4435265 humblemechanic
humblemechanic's picture
US Dollar Collapse and Japan’s Sham Currency War: The Hidden Agenda Behind Japan’s Kamikaze Quantitative Easing

Thu, 02/13/2014 - 23:55 | 4435266 Cabreado
Cabreado's picture

The author needs to discern between "nationalistic behavior" and self-preservation.



Fri, 02/14/2014 - 00:05 | 4435288 verbot
verbot's picture

we are thru the looking glass with the "leadership" in japan..

yakuza?..which kai?...oh right! play carry trade for savvy insider investors...ya my fellow ZHers play the carry trade with the odd glowing radiation gangster...yup i said it... best freaking sci-fi horror flick EVER!!...

and we really dont know how this drama will end do we? adds a delicious tension...huh?

but really this whole drama is for the US pivot to asia so shinzo chan will dance the ww3 step...chachaboom!... again, best sound track EVER FOR the best horror Sci-fi drama EVER!!...

chachaboom chachaboom....gatchaman.....hahahahah i am berg katse!!!!

figure out why science ninjas were goin around looking for uranium in 1972 japanese cartoons and we might know a lot more indeed....


Fri, 02/14/2014 - 00:10 | 4435297 SgtShaftoe
SgtShaftoe's picture

Feels like it's 1939 doesn't it?

Fri, 02/14/2014 - 00:20 | 4435330 suteibu
suteibu's picture

More like 1933 when Japan withdrew from the League of Nations over its invasion of Manchuria.  It took the rest of the decade to draw the ire of the US and Britain.

Fri, 02/14/2014 - 00:18 | 4435321 verbot
verbot's picture

cry havoc and let slip the dogs of war... or whatever is still alive and able to bite from out of the new open air experimental gene lab the japanese made for us to enjoy...might be some real good bitey things growing right now!...

and it feels like 2014 with all of the good sense removed and history forgotten...wierd but close to what it seems like..huh??

go fukuppy!!

Fri, 02/14/2014 - 00:42 | 4435358 Yenbot
Yenbot's picture

Kosuke Takahashi

The stench of cowardice is strong with this one.


Japan committed one war crime in WWII: it LOST.

Beautiful in the snow
A brave man's footprints are seen.

Fri, 02/14/2014 - 04:31 | 4435694 besnook
besnook's picture

he bought the bullshit; that is for sure. remember, ther are no war criminals in arlington cemetery. lol

Fri, 02/14/2014 - 00:38 | 4435370 CheapBastard
CheapBastard's picture

I think Jpan should send all of their women under the age of 30 to the USA .... for safe keeping, of ocurse, just in case....

Fri, 02/14/2014 - 01:23 | 4435493 theliberalliberal
theliberalliberal's picture

dude.....Japanese women dont age.  under 40 is fine.....

Fri, 02/14/2014 - 00:46 | 4435381 TheReplacement
TheReplacement's picture

Why not?  Most people here are for private gun ownership.  Why shouldn't each country be able to defend itself.  Naturally, when indians stray off the reservation to wantonly kill people we go and kill them.  I wonder who is coming for us.

There's nothing wrong with being able to fight back.  We just have to stop being the instigators.

I wonder is Abe means it, the nationalistic stuff.  Could it be that he is just a BSer like Obama in the truth being the opposite of everything he says?  He seems like a friggin' wrecking ball.


Fri, 02/14/2014 - 01:25 | 4435499 CrazyCooter
CrazyCooter's picture

Private gun ownership != modern national weaponry systems.

It is not uncommon for Uncle Bubba, who is into the neighbors for 10 times what his land is worth, to start a shooting war. Dead creditors don't collect. While simplistic, it is one of the primary reasons many debt busts lead to war; the debt isn't paid either way so might as well go for it.



Fri, 02/14/2014 - 00:50 | 4435401 pashley1411
pashley1411's picture

How can you militarize with a replacement rate of 1.4?   Its ridiculous to contemplate.

It could be Abe is trying to fix the demographics by reviving in Japan something of a martial spirit, and, in a round-about way, getting some more babies out of his people.   But I don't read Japanese, just guessing. 

Fri, 02/14/2014 - 00:54 | 4435412 BarnacleBill
BarnacleBill's picture

Yes, Abe's visit to the shrine was a bit naughty - but we should forgive him that small sin. After all, there must be quite a few war criminals buried at Arlington...

Fri, 02/14/2014 - 01:02 | 4435438 oooBooo
oooBooo's picture

Don't they have a few nuclear reactors to clean up before attending to anything else?

Nothing like government to screw up priorities I guess.

Fri, 02/14/2014 - 01:11 | 4435468 Seize Mars
Seize Mars's picture

Abe doesn't have a "master plan."

Rather, his "master plan" is whatever some goon in London says it is.

There is no "Japan." It's basically a sub-account of the FED.

Fri, 02/14/2014 - 01:14 | 4435471 Jack Burton
Jack Burton's picture

Japan, haven't been to war for 60 years, now they have forgotten what war is, their grandparents know. Mankind seems to forget what war is, when they do, the begin to view war as a nobel and uniting thing. Good for the country, good for the youth to have a higher cause. I am sure that higher cause was subject to some question back in 1945 when the B-29's firebombed Japanese citys, and then nuked two more for icing on the cake. As a child I got ahold of a book in the library, personal Japanese stories of the days the nukes went off. This should be required reading for the Japanese themselves. When the people are glued into the melted asphalt, and are blazing like matches all lined up in a row, when someone stickes their head out of a ditch to see the people lined up ablaze in the road, it sort of focuses the mind on the benefits of peace. Politicians love to sell war. You will note, when Bush sold Iraq war, all the people voting for that war stayed home safe and went long defense industry stocks, made a fucking bundle and sent their kids to Ivy league schools, while the white trash sent their kids to the Marines and Army. Fuck, people never learn. Sometimes I think we deserve the war monger nut jobs that the US congress is full of. Now the nut bag Japanes eare getting on the War Path. Like I said, the new genreations forget and think war is nobel and good fun for all.

Fri, 02/14/2014 - 01:35 | 4435514 Flakmeister
Flakmeister's picture

Good post...

Unfortunately war has always been lucrative provided you win and don't mind giving up the home field advantage.....

Fri, 02/14/2014 - 01:35 | 4435515 CrazyCooter
CrazyCooter's picture

100% correct. Thanks for taking the time to say it. Maybe some folks will actually read it instead of pissing around with smart ass comments.

It is not the nature of the species to read history. Nature didn't make humanity smart, because humanity doesn't need to be smart. Humanity just needs the occasional genius to solve the "hard problems" and everyone benefits. Everyone else is "dumb" by design (a.k.a. 100% Einsteins' don't run a very good farm).

Civilization, as we know it, is peaking as it is backed 100% by the production of energy necessary for everything we think has existed since the dawn of time. In few decades (?), unless the population crashes to well under 1 billion, its game over.

Amazingly, George Carlin had it figured out in his skit about environmentalists and the Earth. Modern humanity is a speed bump in the timeline of history. I will live to see it crash and burn, as will most folks my age. Maybe I live, maybe I don't. Sucks, but that is how it is.



Fri, 02/14/2014 - 08:01 | 4435900 Element
Element's picture

Let's not forget likewise, Jack, that the Chinese have been more than willing to ramp the propaganda surrounding the acts of WWII that were performed by entirely different people. They instead are blaming the homeland the offenders came from, instead. And many of them were executed after the war anyway, so what is it the Chinese want from them, a bloody island? A re-match? It's like blaming the grand-children of a murderer ... for granddad's behavior! Beijing has done much to fester this situation and that stupid behavior has only resulted in Japanese insecurity turning indignant, a rising sense of having taken quite enough bullshit, regarding the now ancient and almost other-worldly events of WWII.

What if the Russians had done the same to Germany - stirred them up again? The Russian people and leadership know it would be very dumb to goad and harass Germany, to turn them into pissy nationalists again.

The Chinese may have ancient Dynasties, but frankly the current flock of dweebs, in Beijing, are rash, immature and completely untrustable. They don't seem to really grasp or accept the concept of diplomacy, it's more a temporary and unfortunate interim measure, to them, rather than a commitment. And other countries in Asia increasingly realize this about them.

If all they want is weapons and more weapons, and waving weapons around, OK, that's how it will be. Idiots do have to be deterred, after all.

But kinda dumb-as-dogshit though.

I'm fairly confident that over the next five years a stronger regional naval and aerospace-alliance or at least a strategic agreement and integration framework will develop among the rest of Asia. It will happen because the Chinese seem to think they're not vulnerable, that they don;t have to be careful and be diplomatic, as they think mainland China is not vulnerable, so diplomacy is not required. 

So the rest of Asia will make sure they understand that mainland China is anything but invulnerable or even effectively defensible against a full blooded conventional regional response.

The Japanese certainly have the full range of hardware, sensors, comms, intel and weapons to mount sustained heavy attacks on the mainland and Abe has made clear that's going to be dramatically expanded. I'll be very surprised if defense expenditures do not go through the roof, in all of the rest of Asia from this point forward, because everyone know China has to be made to understand it's just one country and its power-projection capability can be removed.

The other point is no one's going to trust the US. either. The deep Japanese ambivalence is clear, and I think it's a healthy thing for other states to regard the US as the devil you know. Frankly the European states will find a lot of keen buyers of their most advanced weapon systems, if they are up to snuff, because everyone's wary of becoming dependent on US strategic whim and pawn plays, bribery and strategic manipulation. Frankly, Russia will find a lot of buyers too, for much the same reason, plus they're a lot cheaper.

Personally, after considering the situation, what is needed is a regional defense cooperation and integration alliance that does not leave the other members open to states switching 'sides' as enticing inducements and security guarantees are offered by China. Such side-switching creates problems of trust and its potential betrayal implications and that means such a defense cooperation network needs to be sufficiently open, but also closed enough for the member states to guard against that.

For sure, like some regional dirty old man in a raincoat, Beijing will try to offer some lollies to the kids to temp states will go for a drive in its new Great Wall 4x4. Some might be silly enough to do that too. But then again, the US has been doing this for years, only it's got a white cowboy hat with the raincoat and drives a hummer 4x4.

Fri, 02/14/2014 - 01:15 | 4435473 kchrisc
kchrisc's picture

After sucking off the defense tit of the DC US for some 70 years, they are setting themselves up to get Jap slapped by the Chinese.

Pass the popcorn and beer please.

Fri, 02/14/2014 - 04:26 | 4435692 besnook
besnook's picture

i believe you mean the usa occupation forces that have used japan as the the keystone for pacific hegemony. the japanese have been sick of it since the 60s, especially the obligatory lower bow to the usa for "saving" the emperor and the japanese way of life. they have been biding their time since then, patiently waiting for the right time to declare independence from their occupier. the time is now. the usa is a crumbling empire. japan is japanese first, they will not follow the usa down the drain. funny this bozo(usa shill) does not mention the hatoyama manifesto that really kicked off the abe independence mandate.


Fri, 02/14/2014 - 01:24 | 4435497 theliberalliberal
theliberalliberal's picture





signed.  rest of the world (minus china)

Fri, 02/14/2014 - 01:33 | 4435513 tony wilson
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Fri, 02/14/2014 - 01:42 | 4435540 ebworthen
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I GUARANTEE you Japan has nukes.

They will not let China rule the Pacific.

China's clear move is to nuke Hawaii and the Pacific Fleet then say "What you gonna' do now?"

The U.S. will back down or there will be nuclear conflagration.

Fri, 02/14/2014 - 01:59 | 4435557 theliberalliberal
theliberalliberal's picture

thats bullshit.

china wont nuke first.  not unless they are already in the middle of a normal hot war and their backs are against the wall.

or they can wipe out the navy with conventional bombs (like the Jewish /Egypt airfield manover). (but i assume they would already have declared war somewhat - not a straight out "surpirse")

you never throw the first punch whilst other people are looking.  Now if they can blame it on the syrian warship doing the rounds out in the pacific then......


Edit: the Hawaii bit is B.S. imho.  japan having nukes.....probably.

Fri, 02/14/2014 - 02:17 | 4435593 ebworthen
ebworthen's picture

I know it sounds crazy.

Think though, that if they wanted to draw a line in the sand they could just take out the Hawaiian islands and the 7th fleet.

Far enough away to not directly kill anyone on the continental U.S.

Far enough away to not directly kill anyone in Asia or Australia, etc.

It would accomplish a number of things; they are willing to use nukes, they don't care what the U.S. thinks, they own the Pacific, and they will take back Taiwan and likely conquer Japan.

If it is a choice between civil war in China or an external war they will act externally.

Probably sounded crazy for Japan to attack Pearl Harbor too, eh?

Fri, 02/14/2014 - 04:35 | 4435697 theliberalliberal
theliberalliberal's picture

Well the Japs 100% deserved everything they got for not declaring war before attacking.


that is standard war practice 101.  Especially as the US was not then involved in warring againstgermany or anythink like that at the time.  


Sure, if USA declared war against germany,  and germany and japs are known allies,  then it sort of goes without saying to expect something,  but just...hey...BOOM.  Japs did not have karma on their side.


was the USA even taunting the Japs "go on i dares ya" back then (like the chinese sort of are now).  not a historian thats for sure.

Fri, 02/14/2014 - 05:11 | 4435734 ebworthen
ebworthen's picture

They intended to declare war before the attack but official notification was delayed by a bad translator and slow typist.

Debate about whether it was slow transcription or the Japanese military delayed notification.

However, U.S. code-breakers had already intercepted and decoded the notification.


Many believe the U.S. Military knew of the attack and let it happen to get the U.S. into the war (9/11 anyone?).

The Japanese did it for the same reasons the Chinese would do it, to get us out of their back yard.

Back then we had the industrial might to kick ass; now we would pretty much have to use nukes or give up on the Pacific.

Sure, we have subs and planes and stuff; but if China pulls the nuclear card on Hawaii we will have to use nukes or give in.

Looking at how the military is being gutted and our leaders are gutless puppets I'd say we give in with some kind of promise to defend ourselves and Europe.

Sun is setting on the U.S., we have been SOLD OUT by Washington and Wall Street.

Fri, 02/14/2014 - 08:17 | 4435918 groundedkiwi
groundedkiwi's picture

So any day now we will hear the USA declare war on Iraq, Afghanistan etc etc.

Fri, 02/14/2014 - 09:10 | 4435928 Element
Element's picture



I GUARANTEE you Japan has nukes.

They will not let China rule the Pacific.

China's clear move is to nuke Hawaii and the Pacific Fleet then say "What you gonna' do now?"

The U.S. will back down or there will be nuclear conflagration.

This is not one of your usually smart posts, Ebw.

Yes, Japan probably can put a nuke on a missile today. Australia probably can too. Its done quite a lot of quiet deals on the side with Israel in recent decades. You can be sure that if we got exactly what we wanted from them, then they got whatever they wanted or needed from us in return. Certainly we've been swapping-spit with regard to nuclear technology and materials. I expect there are similar technology transfers occurring with India, as well, since the uranium export ban to India was lifted (due to no NPT signing). More than likely that was a part of the deal's inducement.

Regarding China nuking the US, you should have a read of the many wire communications and analysis surrounding the Moscow-Washington communications from Oct to Nov 1962, plus the blood curdling comments coming out of the Joint-Chief's mouths around that time. Russia came very close to getting completely wiped out, and there's no way they could have effectively replied-in-kind, at the time. The US strike power in late 1962 was many times larger and much, much faster reaction time than Russia could reply with. Unknown to the Russians at the time, or any one else, the US Navy had already deployed its first IRBM equipped nuclear armed sub. Officially this did not occur until after the Jupiter missile was withdrawn, but by that time the US already had several SLBMs at sea, and was able to strike Russia within minutes, any time it wanted to.

And its clear from what some of the WWII experienced Pentagon Chiefs were saying that they were furious the politicians wouldn't let them destroy the commie menace - completely.

If the Russians had made more aggressive moves or threatening commentary during late November 1962 most of the Russian population would literally have disappeared, within 24 hours. Yes, they would have got a few good hits in on the US, but at least 9O% of the US population would have recovered. But the Russians would have been wiped-out to very low levels, and sans almost any technological or centralized support remaining.

And had the US gone ahead and done that they would of course have completely wiped-out the Chinese at the same time, as an after-thought, a sort of thankyou for North Korea, which also would have been rendered devoid of almost any human life.

If China ever attacked the US with nukes today I do believe the Pentagon would launch about 2/3s of the active nuke force on China's cities, then activate the reserve nukes to take out the military bases in follow up strikes. But China's population would be significantly below >>100 million within 12 months, thereafter. Then they'd be occupied ... once again.

It's a tremendously dumb thing for Beijing to even consider causing the US to regret not doing it earlier.

Fri, 02/14/2014 - 09:10 | 4436009 tip e. canoe
tip e. canoe's picture

all this talk about nukes fails to address the Pink Nuke In The Room::

if even close to the tinfoil regarding radiation levels continuing to emanate from Fukushima is fact,

and it is fact that there are "ghost cities" of China, still uninhabited, 
(even carbon copies of Paris & NYC that the Japanese seem to love so much)

one would think that the Japanese, for the very sake of their own survival, would want to make a proactive effort to heal old wounds and make nice with the Chinese.

the question one must ask is what & who is stopping them (on both sides of the sea).

Fri, 02/14/2014 - 09:29 | 4436050 Element
Element's picture

It may be a fact but it's also a fact that it is an exponentially decreasing fact, and the high concentrations that are actually potentially harmful are very geographically limited in extent. If the fuel removal succeeds most likely not much more will occur there. Fukushima's contamination is a slow-burn fuse, it will take years for most of its effect to show up and without any doubt, 99% of people in Japan will not get sick and will not be affected directly, and basically won't give a rats about Fukushima Daiichi ten years from now.

Yes it will still be leaking, yes, it will continue to do so, but no, it will not be a grand health catastrophe for Japan, or the region. And at this point I don't care what any flaky anti-nuke blog has to say about it. I've looked it enough now to know that the dangers are longer-term and low-level for anyone not within the current exclusion zone. Limit (not eliminate) your marine dietary intake from that area of coast and you'll most likely have no health problems from it.

A war, conventional or otherwise, would be vastly more dangerous, as too would cold weather and high energy prices in a stagnant economy. Right now the suicide rate and depression in Japan is far more dangerous and harmful than any radiation hazard.

Fri, 02/14/2014 - 10:59 | 4436311 tip e. canoe
tip e. canoe's picture

indeed, if the 1st premise is flawed, then the entire syllogism fails.

but did a lack of energy create the Japanese malaise in the first place?

could it be possible that energy abundance (and the methods in which was derived) had something to do with it on a collective psychic level?

Fri, 02/14/2014 - 15:56 | 4437339 Element
Element's picture

Well, when 45% of young females and 25% of young males have gone completely off having sex, all together, and even the thought of it turns them off, I suspect there's a large and very unexpected social problem there. I don't know anything else about energy levels, I do know that many form of addictions lead to brain atrophy and/or reorganisation, and an loss of ability to cope, and depression could take hold at that point.

Frankly I am just as concerned by the extreme apathy and its results in India's poor and destitute, the common factor is close quarter due to overcrowding. We also know that suicide was and probably still is an extreme problem at FoxCon's crowded live-in worker's dorms. It always seems to come back to the conditions.

The very idea that the sea can jump up, kill you, or everyone you know, and your life is made miserable for years, and the family has no home, that it can happan again, would not help cheer them up. The kitch shite and cute animal-like weird blob things on japanese TV would drive me to depression as well and I never get depressed.

Fri, 02/14/2014 - 02:44 | 4435616 Dollarmedes
Dollarmedes's picture

Japan has no will. You can see that when their young people can't be bothered to procreate.

If Abe reverses that, so much the better for Japan.

I get the feeling the writer has an agenda, and possibly leftist sympathies.

So the plan is to pile on Abe when things get tough and replace him with a socialist...because that's worked out so well for the rest of the world.

Fri, 02/14/2014 - 03:39 | 4435648 pupdog1
pupdog1's picture

"[Abe] wants to enhance Japan’s role in the U.S.-Japan Security Treaty by authorizing the use of the right to collective self-defense so as to contribute to U.S. global strategy."

And where, in his typhoon scraped, radioactively Fuked, ageing, worst economy in the world, is he going to get the dough for this?

This guy is Hitler in the early 1930s, and the Japanese are as ready for this message as the post-Treaty-of-Versailles Germans were in the 1930s.

Fri, 02/14/2014 - 04:10 | 4435680 shinobi-7
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Japan is trying to regain a more independent policy and China it's former position as the "central" country of Asia. The risk of a clash is clearly growing. As Takahashi explains, there is a legitimate way to look at the Japanese position but Abe is probably not the right person to do it. While he says one thing to reassure china, there is a chorus of conservative politicians in the background singing quite a different tune. China cannot be faulted for listening only to the wrong part of the message. Conversely, China is advancing a nationalistic agenda which needs to be opposed and accommodated at the same time. These are two very different problems which should be dealt with one at a time on a case by case basis. Merged together it is a recipe for misunderstanding and ultimately for an unnecessary clash. That, at some stage, the clash may become convenient politicaly on both side of the Japan/Eastern Sea is what we should be concerned about.

Fri, 02/14/2014 - 04:38 | 4435700 besnook
besnook's picture

china and japan are allies against the west, the usa specifically since europe has become a butt boy. this is the part of the game the usa has never and will never understand. this guy is a usa shill who thinks japan should continue to enjoy the unlubricated carnal violation their worn out ass has endured for 60 years.

Fri, 02/14/2014 - 04:42 | 4435703 Mike in Tokyo Rogers
Mike in Tokyo Rogers's picture

This writer has some facts very confused. He wrote, "For mainstream Japanese conservatives such as the Abe family, Tokyo has been shackled since it accepted the judgments of the International Military Tribunal for the Far East, known as the Tokyo Trials. For one thing, as a defeated nation Japan has always been forced to take a servile position— militarily and diplomatically—toward the U.S., the World War II victor."

Bullshit! Abe's grandfather was Nobusuke Kishi, the Japanese Prime Minister who, after the war, forced through the US/Japan Security Agreement and wound up getting kicked out of government in disgrace because of that!

Historical fact, for what it is worth. See:

Fri, 02/14/2014 - 06:34 | 4435789 vyeung
vyeung's picture

Abe plan or so called plan is just full of #$%. Unless the US give it leeway, you aren;t going nowhere hosay.


This is more like the US letting the leash off a bit. Bit like China with N.Korea. Nothing more than strategic pawns on a chess board being move by the shadow power brokers. If you believe Japan can release itself from its so called post war shackles, you are living in fantasy land. Its upto the powers at be.


"Up to interpretation" Is this mofo utterly brain dead. I think I will just rain a few more nuke down on Japan. I believe the Japanese people are a criminial nation. Imagine someone say this view is "up to interpretation". The world would be a very messy place trying to playing meta-physics in our physical world.

Fri, 02/14/2014 - 06:34 | 4435791 22winmag
22winmag's picture

Lincoln was a "Class A" war criminal, yet millions visit his memorial every year.

Fri, 02/14/2014 - 10:17 | 4435837 falak pema
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This whole global ship of Pax Americana and consorts, now looking more and more like a runaway gallion without a captain to hold the Helm, is dangerously entering the troubled waters of 1914 days.

Just like then, when COLONIAL thieves fell out, the potential repercussions of Jingoistic sabre rattling was a one way street to mutual destruction of Imperial Europe over a time line of thirty years. We destroyed Europe and Japan then. 

But we had a solution as humanity never dies but changes its skin like a snake.

Now, after sixty years out of which twenty were virtuous and benevolent PAx Americana shepherding of a wounded world, in this neo-liberal, winner takes all age, the conundrum has morphed to Apexed wealth formation all accumulated from a scam of unimaginable proportions over 30 years, proposed by the US neo con Oligarchs to their counterparts all over the world.

A dangerous wealth fest that now looks like its entering the "red circle" zone, as we have redestroyed Moral Hazard in the economic field that controls the inherent and vital philosophy, the very blood and guts, of the world capitalist machine.

Economia's only justification in the Industrial age was to provide a huge lever for the betterment of mankind; for general good. Thus morality or ethics were its conerstone, as proclaimed by the Enlightenment that preceeded its unfolding. The wealth of Nations and Ricardo were eminent moralists.

AS Marx very clearly showed in his writings, we could only revert to social darwinism at our own collective peril as it would efface three thousand years of history and progress.

Social Darwinism is the excuse for all the primal instincts of man that civilization has fought via the knowledge meme.

Today, the beanstalk is now reaching self destruction phase and the Oligarchy thieves are reduced to sabre rattling to hide their past sins, now uncontrollable under the greedy, pathological momentum of cheap money/ cheap energy that will jointly meet its Nemesis when interest rates and real fossil energy prices will put a brake on that "hopium is fiat dopium" corrupted joy ride. 

Fri, 02/14/2014 - 08:08 | 4435908 groundedkiwi
groundedkiwi's picture

All you need to know about Japan, and TPTB
A very good read.

Fri, 02/14/2014 - 09:06 | 4435996 tip e. canoe
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