picture of the day

No war

42 Comments

A woman mourning the murder of Japanese hostage Kenji Goto holds a sign stating: "We do not need armed forces" during a rally in front of the prime minister's official residence in Tokyo on Sunday night.

© Japan Today

©2020 GPlusMedia Inc.

42 Comments
Login to comment

It's very unclear if this person is against armed forces worldwide or domestically.

If she means domestically this is a very ungrateful attitude to take for the umbrella of peace she lives under. The men and women in uniform who serve this nation need to be shown a great deal of respect.

Although I still maintain that Abe mishandled this crisis I still consider the fact that his hands were tied behind his back. Perhaps if the world came together the threat of ISIS could be significantly reduced.

-5 ( +9 / -14 )

I wonder if she'd feel the same way if she or her loved ones were held hostage by beheading crazed jihadists.

-3 ( +12 / -15 )

Although I still maintain that Abe mishandled this crisis I still consider the fact that his hands were tied behind his back. Perhaps if the world came together the threat of ISIS could be significantly reduced.

How did Abe mishandle this crisis? What else could he have done or should have done?

5 ( +14 / -9 )

Abe couldn't have done anything. ISIL would have executed him no matter what. ISIL does what ISIL wants. They torture, kill, and manipulate.

Let me get this out there first. I don't like war.

But as far as "no war" is concerned, Japan can't stay isolationist forever. The world is changing. Russia and China are pressing on Japan's borders and islands and extreme Islamic terrorists are becoming a worldwide trend. Japan needs to build a stronger military. Japan needs to be prepared for the worst.

Anti-war, but pro-military. Bad things can happen. Preparation > Isolationism.

7 ( +13 / -6 )

The men and women in uniform who serve this nation need to be shown a great deal of respect.

Where would the military industrial complex be without the perpetrator-victim-rescuer complex?

0 ( +6 / -6 )

Yes Japan needs an army but not for the reasons their are trying to create it for. This army should never be used for all the wars that USA constantly gets involved. Which are all covered by the NATO mask.

Also by the time the army will be reformed and be ready I would love to see all and I mean every single USA base move away from japanese land, since they wont be needed any more. Something that will never happen because we all know that its not that USA protecting an ally as they say but it uses the occupied land for their own games.

2 ( +5 / -3 )

Let's keep this in perspective. This guy went there looking for trouble and he found it. He was not part of any military operation. He was supporting another Japanese person that went there looking for trouble. Paying the ransom and/or releasing that psycho suicide bomber in a swap deal would have resulted in many more deaths. Some could suggest these two Japanese deaths are collateral damage, but they were in the wrong place at the wrong time. In a way, they have saved possibly thousands of lives, but they should not be considered heroes. They were very foolish to be there in the first place.

3 ( +6 / -3 )

2 Japanese victims are not a big price. They knew about it before go. If Japan send SDF troops whatever, more people would no doubt die over there than two victims just like that country. As a result war action show human's stupidity.

-1 ( +2 / -3 )

JWithers, well said. I too agree that Abe and the govt bungled this. Though in their defense they have little experience in these dealings.

As a resident of Japan, I have to say that people here, for the most part have no idea how and why Japan is so peaceful now days. Japan gets to enjoy a great deal of peace directly through US military protection. This is a case where the Japanese are really in a bubble, and have no idea how the rest of the world is. I would like there to be a peaceful world, but that is not how it is

-4 ( +3 / -7 )

it makes no sense, Japan does need armed forces, not because of Russia as some nuts keep pushing but because the wold is setup in such a way that one can't be left alone or be free if there is no deterrent in sight. However for this particular hostage outcome I think that Japan despite its constitutional specification should pay back with retaliatory strikes. Japan should show the IS that their ways do not pay by causing them enough damage to make them regret their atrocious undertaking. IS has not done any direct damage to Israel, and that is because they know and they fear the consequences.

-7 ( +1 / -8 )

JWithers, well said. I too agree that Abe and the govt bungled this. Though in their defense they have little experience in these dealings.

Ok, so what else could have Japan done? Specifically.

4 ( +7 / -3 )

Japan gets to enjoy a great deal of peace directly through US military protection. This is a case where the Japanese are really in a bubble, and have no idea how the rest of the world is.

elcarlo, Japan is not the only country where US military stations. Do you know in how many countries in the world?

-1 ( +3 / -4 )

Good grief...

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

bass4funk, good question. I feel that the panic and shock were the wrong reactions. Even the govt seemed shaken by the situation. I would say being more level headed, would have made a better impression. Japanese are seen as easy bait for kidnappers, as per the Japan Times. The govt could make it harder for people to get away with this. I don't think Goto could have been saved, but I think future kidnappings can be avoided via the proper responses

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

I was wondering how this recent international crisis Japan just faced would play out concerning proposed changes to the Japanese Constitution.

I would like people to imagine that Abe had already had his way with Article 9, "reinterpreting" it in the way he proposes. In fact, such a "reinterpretation" would actually have allowed Japanese forces to intervene in an attempt to "save" the two Japanese hostages in Syria. According to reports I've read,

"The change would significantly widen Japan's military options by ending the ban on exercising "collective self-defense," or aiding a friendly country under attack. It would also relax limits on activities in U.N.-led peacekeeping operations and gray-zone incidents short of full-scale war. (key point coming up!) The proposal changes not the wording of Japan's postwar, U.S.-drafted charter but how those words are interpreted."

Now, according to Abe's "reinterpretations," what COULDN'T Japan do, short of an all-out war, if Abe were to have his way? That depends on how he wants to "reinterpret" Article 9, is the present answer. In my opinion, this would be dangerous, since there would be no constitutional limits preventing a government from using force in practically any situation...except when they thought that they shouldn't.

Right now, Abe says it's an actual hot war which is off limits: everything else is pretty much on the table, if you think about it. Based on the above quote, Abe could certainly use force in the Syrian hostage situation, and on two grounds: helping under "collective self defense" (Jordan and Japan were under threat), and "grey zone incidents short of war."

But what about the future? Why couldn't another leader decide to "reinterpret" what is seemingly a clear-cut Constitutional limit as "...the Japanese people forever renounce war as a sovereign right of the nation and the threat or use of force as means of settling international disputes. To accomplish the aim of the preceding paragraph, land, sea, and air forces, as well as other war potential, will never be maintained. The right of belligerency of the state will not be recognized"?

Now, if Abe can look at this quote from Article 9 and say, "There are actually many situations where I now have the power to use armed force to solve conflicts whenever and wherever I see fit," isn't this a rather slippery slope for a right-wing nationalist revisionist to be given in the present international context? And would such new-found and unlimited powers of aggression help to calm waters here in Asia, or rather heat them up (since the only thing preventing other countries from being threatened by Japan is...a historically revisionist elected official's rather flimsily-defined verbal assurances to the contrary?)

For these reasons and more, I'm against the present plans to simply "reinterpret" the Constitution. If Japan wants to be able to use force abroad again, the Japanese citizenry should force him to actually have to REWRITE the Constitution in a way that will make such "defense", well, Constitutional! Otherwise, I'm afraid I just don't trust self-serving and diplomatically ignorant Japanese politicians enough to keep us safe to be deciding for themselves the limits to their country's coercive abilities overseas.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

StormR

but the reality is that their are some very ugly bad mean butchers in the world who must be kept in check and stopped.

And the reality is Japan is not ready for war and will just be 1,000% crushed by her enemies without USA's help. There is a difference between eliminating danger ( the mean butchers you are talking about) and provoking danger. Or maybe you are too Naïve to know the difference.

-3 ( +2 / -5 )

The mishandling by Abe occurred when he pledged the $200 million to fight ISIS while they were at the same time holding a Japanese hostage. Other than that, I think that he did his best to use allies in the region to attempt to negotiate for the release of Kenji Goto.

-2 ( +1 / -3 )

WE WANT PEACE! Of course. Nobody wants war, nobody wants to kill or get killed. We know all that and there's no point demonstrating that in the middle of one of the safest countries in the world. Do so in war zone if you insist.

Unfortunately, the golden shield of Article 9 hasn't done much while Japan's air and water being raided by China and Russia on a daily basis, precious Ogasawara corals being stolen and completely killed by Chinese, innocent civillians being abducted by North Korea, little island of Takeshima being occupied by Korean millitary force, and now two pelple having been kidnapped, tourtured, and murdered by ISIS.

Those who want Japan to keep the Article 9, though, they NEVER go outside of Japan and tell other countries to have one. If what you sell is that good, knock on every door in the neighborhood and have everyone buy it.

@noypikantoku

So asking for peace is stupid for you? with Bad economy, declining birth rate, aging population... Do you really think Japan is ready for war? do some estimation and think who is really the stupid one.

Instead of an extreme, irrational logic leap and aggressive choice of word like "stupid one," please suggest us the best way to bring peace. If you were in Abe's shoe, for instance, what have you done? Please be specific.

3 ( +5 / -2 )

noypikantoku: And the reality is Japan is not ready for war and will just be 1,000% crushed by her enemies without USA's help.

But look at the size of their moat!!!

How ready to they have to be, with that moat, and ROK as buffer / canary?

0 ( +1 / -1 )

It will not be Abe alone who changes or removes Article 9.

2/3 of both houses must approve. Then a referendum is sent to the Japanese voters.

While I do not like Abe, there is much disinformation that this is Abe's original plan and it is not. Nakasone proposed a complete trashing of Article 9 in 1985.

Revising Article 9 propositions: Ohira 1978, Kaifu 1990, Murayama 1995, Mori 2000, Koizumi 2002, and Hatoyama 2010.

Some clarity is needed because Abe can't just single handedly decide Article 9 is gone, there is a process that is followed. Abe is not the first PM to suggest changes and like it or not, Japan will do as it sees best regardless of what guests living here think.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

bass4funk: "How did Abe mishandle this crisis? "

Easy. He stood in front of an Israeli flag, pledging aid for nations "at war with IS", which is a belligerent declaration of war. He could easily have said what Suga and others panicked to water down his statements with, that "he vowed money to the victims of war and infrastructure to poor and struggling nations", etc. But nope -- he went out of his way to say it is for those attacking IS. That was bungle #1. Next, he sends an envoy to Jordan who is very pro-Israel. Experts are agreeing the language he used is what provoked IS, and Abe has faced grilling in the Diet over it, and now will continue to.

In any case, I agree with those above that what has happened in the ME with Goto and Yukawa should not be used as a means for Abe and Co. to gear up the war machine. The two went into that area knowing full well what could be waiting for them. They are not heros, and while they did not deserve to be murdered, they were fools to go in there in the first place.

Ossan: "I wonder if she'd feel the same way if she or her loved ones were held hostage by beheading crazed jihadists."

You needn't wonder -- I doubt her relatives are dumb enough to go into areas where they can bet they'll be caught and killed. You can want peace, the smart thing, without being stupid. Your rhetoric is just as bad as those you purport to want to fight against.

-4 ( +0 / -4 )

I once believed in strict pacifism. The rhetoric out of Moscow and Beijing changed me...

2 ( +4 / -2 )

This army should never be used for all the wars that USA constantly gets involved.

The USA had nothing to do with the two Japanese that were killed by ISIL. If the protestor would have cared to look into the entire situation, ISIL/ISIS has been fighting in Syria against fellow Muslims and other minority religious groups. Syria is not an ally to the USA. Also, ISIL/ISIS has stated that their goal is to creat (or recreate) the Islamic Caliphate that should stretch from North Africa to all of the Middle East. This caliphate fell well before there was even a Christopher Columbus or Leif Erikson around to discover America.

No one wants war, and I guarentee you that this protestor would probably be beheaded for being a non-believer if she ever went to the ME or ISIS were to come here to Japan.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

Angels fear to tread where fools rush in. Abe and co. are wise to follow the example of angels, and not rush in where those two fools did. Just imagine a revenge mission for a second. Bombs fly. A Japanese bomb takes out a house full of kids, but the mother survives. And thus, a new terrorist is born and Japanese are targeted like never before.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

NYtoday

Instead of an extreme, irrational logic leap and aggressive choice of word like "stupid one,"

First of all, the use of STUPID ONE was a response from one user who call PEACE demonstrators STUPID!

please suggest us the best way to bring peace. If you were in Abe's shoe, for instance, what have you done? Please be specific.

The best way to achieve peace is to be nice to your neighbors and do not provoke them to do war with you especially if you cannot afford to, If your neighbors are crazy don't worry as you have big brothers to go in between and look after you,because at the end of the day your big brothers will still just end up fighting the war for you, so just focus on what your PEOPLE really NEED if you really care about them . If I was Abe? Well I can show my pledge to support the battle against ISIS "CONFIDENTIALY" as I don't think announcing my 200 million USD donation to this campaign will do any good, especially if I am aware that the enemy has my people...Unless I have another PURPOSE...

-2 ( +3 / -5 )

The whole hostage business has been treated as an act of theatre by Abe and his government. First they declare that they will "use every means possible" to ensure the release of the hostages. Every means, that is, apart from talking to the hostage takers. It's the same approach they take with "top priority" North Korea.

Then, yesterday, we were treated to the absurd sight of Suga running to the prime minister's residence, with cameras conveniently there ready to film him. If he had something so urgent to report, why didn't he use his phone? Why did he need to run, other than to add to the theatrics?

NHK then conveniently provided an "expert" who told us we should all be afraid, even if we are in Japan. Plus a "random" interview on the street with someone who tells us "we need to change the way we think". All good propaganda supporting Abe's militaristic stance, as if that would have solved anything in this case.

And why do they keep talking about "terrorism"? I'm not terrorised by the death of someone thousands of miles away, because I have the sense not to go there. It's murder, not terrorism. The chance of anyone in Japan dying of a terrorist attack this year is about zero. There is nothing to worry about, so why do we have to endure this hysterical nonsense from Abe and his media stooges?

Abe's agenda is clear: to remilitarise Japan and bring in conscription. He will take any opportunity to promote this agenda, using lies and distortion to do so. Using Mr Goto's death for political benefit is pretty low, but evidently not too low for Abe.

3 ( +4 / -1 )

sheep attract wolves

0 ( +1 / -1 )

So isis kidnapped these two Japanese last year but somehow what abe did at the end of January 2015 is responsible for this ?

Isis attacked Japanese nationals , isis drew japan into this conflict, isis is to blame for what ever happens, isis is responsible for killing two Japanese nationals, isis are the provocateur , isis are warring everyone they come in contact with, isis are the only ones to blame.

Japan had been and remained pacifist prior to these two being kidnapped, did that help in any way, did that stop isis from kidnapping Japanese nationals, what did abe to to make isis kidnap Japanese citizens, how is abe to blame for this ?

Being a pacifist only works if everyone is pacifist, being pacifist when being attacked does not save you, it does not stop the attackers, it will not save you from being harmed.

-3 ( +1 / -4 )

Unfortunately we need armed forces today more than ever. Unless the evils in the world suddenly disappear. But that won't happen.

3 ( +4 / -1 )

I don't think announcing my 200 million USD donation to this campaign will do any good, especially if I am aware that the enemy has my people.

It is the most impressive comment I have read so far. For defeating IS, Japan does not need to use loud speaker, talk show or new paper for promoting the agenda. Abe wanted to be touch guy like Ken Takakura or Toshio Mifune. Reality is he has only talks. He will never be Macho guys like popular Japanese actors.

When Bush said Bring them on, more US soldiers lives have lost because of road side bomb blasts in Irag. When Abe said, Japan will send peace keeping force in middle east, two Japanese heads have been lost. Wise and thoughtful leaders will not make noise for risking own fellow citizens lives.

According War time British PM Winston Churchill " You have to walk quietly and hide the stick invisible Abe needs to shut his mouth thightly for sake of citizens and Japanese home soil.

1 ( +3 / -2 )

StormR

Abe is not responsible for Kidnapping the hostages...however what we criticize is his recklessness on the way he handled this. was he just reckless? or has a hidden agenda and used this opportunity to gain it?

Isis attacked Japanese nationals , isis drew japan into this conflict

get your facts right. ISIS did not attack these Japanese Nationals,They came to Syria and captured. And was used against Abe for announcing to the entire world his 200 Million USD donation to fight ISIS.

-1 ( +4 / -5 )

The best way to achieve peace is to be nice to your neighbors and do not provoke them to do war with you especially if you cannot afford to, If your neighbors are crazy don't worry as you have big brothers to go in between and look after you,because at the end of the day your big brothers will still just end up fighting the war for you, so just focus on what your PEOPLE really NEED if you really care about them

@ noypikantoku: If you were to take a 5 hour flight from Japan to the Southern Phillipines, you would find the Phillipine army engaged in hostile actions with Abu Sayaff who are along the same lines with ISIS and want an Islamic caliphate and are known to behead hostages and kill non believers. If you continue on over to southern Thailand, you will see the Thai army (Buddahist) engaging in operations against Muslim radicals, and on over to Mynamar and you will see the same thing.

So it is in your neighborhood. Also, if you are going to rely on your "big brother" to fight for you, then you had better tell some of your kinfolk to keep the noise down on the bases in your country and wanting the big brother to leave, and while we're at it, if you big brother gets into a fight with someone, if you are not going to do anything you need to just keep quiet and stay at the children's table while the grown folks (countries) make the decisions.

Abe did what he could do. Sooner or later, ISIS will turn it's attention to countries like Japan and others as long as they know the countries will not do anything to them.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

noypikantoku

get your facts right. ISIS did not attack these Japanese Nationals,They came to Syria and captured. And was used against Abe for announcing to the entire world his 200 Million USD donation to fight ISIS

Huh ya say what ?

My facts are right, these two guys were free men before isis KIDNAPPED them, That is an ATTACK, surely you can understand a simple concept like that.

Isis don't care who they attack, kidnap or kill they have no loyalty to anyone and have no morals, they use children to behead victims, they kill mothers and their babies, they commit the most horrid acts known to man kind and you weakly try to defend them and blame others .

Please get YOUR facts right

-2 ( +2 / -4 )

StormR

these two guys were free men before isis KIDNAPPED them, That is an ATTACK,

Attacked and Got caught are 2 different things! ISIS didn't go to Japan and take these 2. Yukawa and Goto went to their area and got caught. They are aware that these areas are taken by ISIS and they still went there despite of the possibilites getting kidnapped. Syria is 8,000 kilometers from Japan and these 2 guys went there themselves voluntarily.

Isis don't care who they attack, kidnap or kill they have no loyalty to anyone and have no morals, they use children to behead victims, they kill mothers and their babies, they commit the most horrid acts known to man kind and you weakly try to defend them and blame others .

We already knew that ISIS are the bad guys. I am not blaming ABE for the kidnapping, I am criticizing him for handling it recklessly!

-1 ( +2 / -3 )

"Isis don't care who they attack"......really?

Then why aren't they attacking Israel? I don't think you see the big picture. They are attacking the "hypocrites" to build a Caliphate. What's so hard to understand about that? All the "western" puppet states.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

Fizzbit

well said!

-2 ( +2 / -4 )

I have no idea what this woman in the photo is trying to say. Does she?

0 ( +1 / -1 )

As long as there are humans, there will be wars. You really want to know the character of a man, give him power; Abraham Lincoln. We the power needs to be more involve with our governments no matter how much we think they are self serving and useless. This is why this merry go round is still turning. Stop pointing the finger at one individual for this terrorism group had Japan as all other infidels on their list.They had a reason but was just waiting for an excuse.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Fizzbit so yes why arnt they attacking isreal, coz its out of reach to them and their BS

-3 ( +0 / -3 )

Japan already has a Military. The 4th most POWERFUL in fact. All it takes is a stroke of the pen for it to move from SELF DEFENSE Force to IMPERIAL DEFENSE FORCE.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Yukawa was in Syria to fight against ISIS and there should be little sympathy for him.

Goto should not have gone there, and was very foolish to do so. If you jump into a cage with a lion and the lion eats you, can you blame the lion?

It's very easy to avoid being beheaded by ISIS: don't go to Syria or Iraq.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Alphaape

@ noypikantoku: If you were to take a 5 hour flight from Japan to the Southern Phillipines, you would find the Phillipine army engaged in hostile actions with Abu Sayaff who are along the same lines with ISIS and want an Islamic caliphate and are known to behead hostages and kill non believers. If you continue on over to southern Thailand, you will see the Thai army (Buddahist) engaging in operations against Muslim radicals, and on over to Mynamar and you will see the same thing.

First of all, the situation of Japan and Philippines are totally different. Philippines has the separatists and terrorist groups inside the country, Japan DOESN'T have one. So what's the need for pacifism? China!? Do you really think that USA and their allies will allow China to do something wrong to Japan!? If China wants to and really planning something against Japan they did it long time ago. or ISS!? Seriosuly? 8,000 kilometers from Japan

Yes indeed ISIS should be crushed IMMEDIATELY, but what are their plans? Is Japan going to attack and wipe out the whole ISIS? even America is not taking direct actions, and Japan will always just wait for America's command. So why need to reactivate their military?

Also, if you are going to rely on your "big brother" to fight for you, then you had better tell some of your kinfolk to keep the noise down on the bases in your country and wanting the big brother to leave, and while we're at it, if you big brother gets into a fight with someone

Uhm... newsflash, American bases are still in Japan? so what are you talking about? the handful of protesters? Im 100% sure that Abe doesn't care about them. if so... US Bases are gone already.

Abe did what he could do

uhm... what did he do?

ISIS will turn it's attention to countries like Japan and others as long as they know the countries will not do anything to them.

Well even America is not doing something major to stop ISIS so what makes you think that Japan will go there (or will be allowed to go there) and stop them? it's all just chit chat!

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

Login to leave a comment

Facebook users

Use your Facebook account to login or register with JapanToday. By doing so, you will also receive an email inviting you to receive our news alerts.

Facebook Connect

Login with your JapanToday account

User registration

Articles, Offers & Useful Resources

A mix of what's trending on our other sites