politics

Abe adviser says revision of pacifist constitution vital

53 Comments
By Linda Sieg

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Saying it doesn't make it so.

-5 ( +1 / -6 )

We should tell Japan they've got 5 years to improve their military and take on mutual defense obligations, or we're abrogating the treaty & going home. I am tired of free-loaders.

-15 ( +2 / -17 )

@TravellingSales: Err, you do know who wrote Japan's constitution, right?

9 ( +13 / -4 )

Yes, and we should apologize for our lack of foresight. Fortunately we included an amendment mechanism.

-5 ( +4 / -9 )

@TravelingSales: You might know a lot more about the specifics, but I the US military presence in Japan is not a free service. Japan pays a significant chunk of money that provides livelihood for a good many American soldiers. Think about it as mercenary work or as a bodyguard... You wouldn't call your client a freeloader right?

Note I am not saying I agree or disagree with the whole situation... Or that the amount paid is fair or not. I am only saying that between the two countries there is a contract, and that the terms in it are being honored by both parties, for better or for worse.

16 ( +16 / -0 )

Lifting the ban would be a major turning point for the military, witch has not engaged in combat since World War Two. Not being involved in any wars for that long, is something to be proud of! Why would anyone want to change that? I understand that the military industrial complex & politicians would benefit but I don't believe the country and it's people would.

4 ( +10 / -6 )

In a word, NO!

4 ( +9 / -5 )

" U.S. President Barack Obama welcomed the review of the ban after his April summit with Abe."

The Nobel Peace Laureate says "Yes, you should!" Bit of a contradiction, isn't it? I thought it was the GOP who were the warhawks(nevermind James Polk, Woodrow Wilson, FDR, Harry S Truman John F. Kennedy, and Lyndon Johnson).

The biggest problem, IMO, is the likelihood that by amending Art 9 Japan would get drawn into foreign wars. No thanks.

5 ( +9 / -4 )

"Kitaoka rejected criticism that reinterpreting the constitution rather than formally revising it - a politically difficult step requiring approval by two-thirds of the members of both houses of parliament and a majority of voters in a public referendum - would undermine the constitution."

Yeah, well, since when did a guy like Kitaoka ever accept the truth of the matter if it undermines the goodies they get in return? And yet Abe only yesterday was talking about how much -- a lot like his granddaddy, really -- Japan has brought peace to the region. Didn't they make the same argument in the Korean Peninsula, Taiwan, and China and other Asian nations while waging war before this constitution was made the way it was?

1 ( +8 / -8 )

Japan has been reducing its funding to support bases over the last decade, dropping from a high of $3.17 billion in 1999 to $2.15 billion last year.

Shapiro told Kyodo News that Japan’s support of the bases should remain at current levels in order to ensure regional security, especially at a time North Korea is suspected of sinking a South Korean warship in March and China is flexing its naval muscles in international waters near Okinawa. (5/2//2014 info.)

-2 ( +4 / -6 )

It is vital. In the future other countries, especially America, may be less willing to assist Japan if it cannot/will not help them when they get in trouble. Japan can either continue to rely in part on foreign military forces or it can significantly ramp up spending to be self-sufficient - I think 2.5-3% of GDP would be the minimum.

I think the Abe government wants to have to avoid spending upwards of another US$120 billion a year on defence. Amending the Constitution to reduce the chance of a US policy change in the future is very cheap. If Japanese pacifists don't like that, they can advocate the purchase of 100s of extra "defensive" fighters and dozens of new ships and submarines.

Of course, pacifists don't deal with the real world and believe that if Japan just sings "Kumbaya" on a guitar, China and North Korea will leave it alone.

-5 ( +2 / -7 )

Read about Shinichi Kitaoka in WikiPedia. Also there is a full Q & A script than just summary above. He knows how Japan can militarize without changing its Constitution. He is not friendly with SDF.

About how Japanese Constitution was built, read Wikipedia Charles Louis Kades so that it was not USA only created constitution, Some people think Japanese were not consulted by USA for creating Constitution but not true.

-2 ( +1 / -3 )

"Of course, pacifists don't deal with the real world and believe that if Japan just sings "Kumbaya" on a guitar, China and North Korea will leave it alone."

It would certainly be a cheaper idea. I can't see North Korea invading Honshu. And to be honest, I can't really imagine China sailing its fleet into Naha harbour either.

1 ( +4 / -3 )

Abe is absolutely correct.

You reap what you sow, anti Japan nationalists throughout places like South Korea and China. Years of harassment have led to this.

3 ( +6 / -3 )

Far too much money and energy is wasted defending "us guys" from "those guys" over there.

Especially considering "those guys" over there are spending enormous sums defending themselves from "us guys" over here.

It's an incredible waste.

Changing the constitution as Abe's "advisor" recommends will not create peace.

What does Kitaoka care?

If the going gets rough, he, Abe and the rest of the "top guys," will be in a safe bunker somewhere, sipping mizuwaris and watching the score on a monitor.

0 ( +4 / -4 )

YongYangMay. 08, 2014 - 03:57PM JST Err, you do know who wrote Japan's constitution, right?

And you do know that we wrote Article 9 to satisfy the other allied victor nations in return for being able to keep the Emperor in place and avoid war crimes charges right? And you do know that we regretted Article 9 it as early as 1950 when we forced Japan to create the basis of todays JSADF right? And you do know that the United States has been pressuring Japan for this for the last 64 years?

-4 ( +2 / -6 )

@ TravelingSales

Just last year, Japan paid a $3.1 billion bill for relocating American troops from Okinawa. On top of 696.7 billion yen ($6,900,000,000) bill for their protection racket bases.

Is that free-loading?

The military occupation is intended not to defend Japan but to sustain the USA's hegemonic domination over the Asia-Pacific region according to its foreign policy. It is threatening the region’s peace and possibility of other partnerships.

It was not a voluntary arrangement on Japan's behalf.

0 ( +5 / -5 )

There may come a time when those in Japan who take the position of hiding your head in the sand will prove to be a rather unfortunate mistake. The PRC has now aggressively decided to plant an oil rig in the territorial economic waters zone of Viet Nam which China disputes. That tiny country has aggressively put China on notice, and has seen a PRC Coast Guard vessel ram their ship in their own territorial economic waters. I guess some resplendence would not see this as having anything to do with Japan..Hope you are right, however telling this may be. Some also say that military security is too costly, however I have not seen any viable alternatives being offered by those who have stated all those figures on cost. How do they intend to protect themselves from aggression? Perhaps on that issue of those who bring it up, might prefer to live in (if they are in Japan) move to Switzerland, who also has a self defense force I might add.

-1 ( +2 / -3 )

Yes, that's the problem. Japan has twice proven it can be a pacifist nation for a period of more then 320 years now but China has continually proven it does not recognise international laws and conventions.

The majority of voices in Japan are for peace, a large proportion want a total pacifism or no army, even no resistance (defence), but would China recognize that? Even if Japan was to adopt 'neutrality', which would mean forcing the Americans to leave, would China recognize that? Of course not.

Unfortunately, NE Asia is not NW Europe so what to do?

But, apart from the hydro-carbon reserves in territorial waters surrounding Senkaku and fisheries in Japanese waters, what interests would China really have in Japanese territory? Of what benefit would it have? Japan is resource poor. China has more than sufficient of its own.

The nature of of conquest has changed and now it happens on an economic level, not territorial. About all the SDF really needs to defend Japan from is related to food security and criminal smuggling.

They US bases are not defending Japan. They are not promoting peace, freedom or democracy (if they were, they would resolve North Korea), China will not threaten the USA ... so what are they doing there?

Are they merely training exercise grounds for the next conquest of some small Asian nation?

-3 ( +3 / -6 )

Abe adviser says revision of pacifist constitution vital

it would be a good political and social experiment since WWII if this one goes through, but i don't think it would do good for japan in the future..with the existence of yasukuni shrine,,that can be one of the point of frustration and mistrust that can also create unnecessary provocations from neighboring countries.

-3 ( +1 / -4 )

“If you are trying to defend Japan by individual self-defense alone, Japan has to become a big nuclear power. Relying on right of collective self-defense, relying on a reliable partner, is better than becoming a military monster.”

On this point I can't disagree. But my concern is that once Abe and some of his revisionist pals open up the Constitution for change other agendas will come up and real damage could be done.

-2 ( +1 / -3 )

Perhaps on that issue of those who bring it up, might prefer to live in (if they are in Japan) move to Switzerland, who also has a self defense force I might add.

They also have a mandatory draft as well which is another price for being 'neutral'.

Collective self defense is a right guaranteed under Article 51 of Charter of U.N. It's a "norm" for every member so it's time for Japan remove this stanglehold and become a normal nation.

-3 ( +2 / -5 )

Kitaoka is neither liberal nor right wing. He is the top scholar of Japanese History and Japanese politics and lengthy service with Japanese Govt as top in any organizations he is assigned. He has own mind to analyze situations and event in Japan. He write books. His position is that Japan has to be leader of World and Universe. Global Player, etc.

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

Remember this issue, either revise the constitution or reinterpret war-renouncing Article 9, was raised by the U.S. side for starters. A conservative Shinzo Abe simply leaped at it to realize his open secret to rearm the nation to the teeth.

Why is the U.S. demanding Japan do away with the constitution or reinterpret it? Their justification goes like this: under the current interpretation of the constitution, a Japanese warship accompanying a U.S. warship cannot retaliate against an enemy ship attacking the U.S. vessel. This is unfair, the U.S. side says, for the U.S. must shed blood for the defense of Japan while Japan has no obligation to defend the U.S.

Sounds plausible, but is it really? They forget the fact that Japan is not a sovereignty; it's a U.S. vassal, being virtually occupied by U.S. forces. Japan is obliged to provide military bases to the U.S. Forces (88 facilities in all) and shoulder the bulk of their maintenance costs (369 million dollars per annum). If one base is to be returned, another one must be provided in its place. The Futenma-to-Henoko relocation issue is an example in point.

The U.S. demand is like that of a crime syndicate that demands people in the turf to provide them with an office building (a safe house) on a sprawling compound for free, shoulder their operating costs as they ask for, and in case there were attacks by rival syndicates the local people must cooperate with them by taking arms to defend them.

Sounds reasonable?

2 ( +3 / -1 )

@voice of OkinawaL It is not only$369 million, It wasUS $2.15 billion, That what US want to keep like that, Omoiyari Budget. Landlord pay to tenant.

Japan has been reducing its funding to support bases over the last decade, dropping from a high of $3.17 billion in 1999 to $2.15 billion last year.

Shapiro told Kyodo News that Japan’s support of the bases should remain at current levels in order to ensure regional security, especially at a time North Korea is suspected of sinking a South Korean warship in March and China is flexing its naval muscles in international waters near Okinawa. (5/2//2014 info.)

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Japan has been living in a shell for far too long, it is time it takes off that shell and start taking more responsibility for keeping this world safer.

The antiquated pacifist Constitution has done absolutely nothing to stop it's neighbor from making threats and this pacifist constitution will not stop them from invading. The only thing that will stop them is a clear sign that force shall be met with force!

Article 9 is a deadweight anchor around the neck of Japan which has allowed Communist China free reign to do as it wants.

-1 ( +3 / -4 )

JoeBigs (May. 09, 2014 - 06:59AM JST):

Thanks to the constitution, Japan has been able to avoid going to war for the past 69 years. No single Japanese life has been lost in war. How many wars has the U.S. engaged in and how many American lives have been lost in wars during the same period? To count major ones, the U.S. engaged in five wars: Korean War, Vietnam War, two Gulf Wars and Afghanistan War.

You say, "The antiquated pacifist Constitution has done absolutely nothing to stop it's neighbor from making threats and this pacifist constitution will not stop them from invading." If Japan had been genuinely truthful to the constitution, no neighboring country could have ever intimidated Japan. If it had, it's because neighboring countries might have thought Japan had been virtually rearmed and ready to attack them along with U.S. forces.

The revision of the constitution will reinforce that impression by neighboring countries without a doubt.

-2 ( +2 / -4 )

voiceofokinawaMAY. 09, 2014 - 08:24AM JST Thanks to the constitution, Japan has been able to avoid going to war for the past 69 years.

Yes, and if Japan's neighbors would have kept their saber rattling to a minimum we wouldn't be where we are right now.

Communist China has laid claim to Okinawa and Senkaku, do you think for the sake of Japan's Constitution that it should give Communist China those islands without a fight?

voiceofokinawaMAY. 09, 2014 - 08:24AM JST How many wars has the U.S. engaged in and how many American lives have been lost in wars during the same period?

Interesting how you make it seem that the US of A is the only nation that has waged any wars in the last 69 years. You may wish to do a bit more research and stop following propaganda.

voiceofokinawaMAY. 09, 2014 - 08:24AM JST If Japan had been genuinely truthful to the constitution, no neighboring country could have ever intimidated Japan.

First you say that the Japanese has Japan at peace, then you claim that Japan hasn't been true to it's Constitution and that's why it is being threatened.

Now, let's talk reality, Japan has a coastline that is about the same size as Communist China and a Navy that is 7 times smaller. Next Japan hasn't gone away from it's pacifist Constitution once. Japan's military budget has been the same for around 20 years.

Now, after all these facts are before you please tell me how Japan hasn't been genuine?

Tell me, has Japan started a war that we don't know about. Has Japan claimed 90% of the South China sea? Has Japan attacked fishing vessels that were in their own nations waters?

Or could it be that you think that Japan doesn't have the right to defend it's territories from Communist China's aggressive invasions?

1 ( +3 / -2 )

JoeBigs (May. 09, 2014 - 10:26AM JST):

You say the U.S.A. is not the only nation "that has waged any wars in the past 69 years," advising me to "stop following propaganda."

That there's been no Japanese death in war for the past 69 years thanks to the peace constitution is not a piece of propaganda by someone but a simple fact and nothing but a fact. Similarly, that the U.S. has waged at least five wars during the same period and lost more than 100 thousand lives in those wars is not propaganda but a simple fact (and how many civilian casualties?). If the U.S. constitution had the same war-stopping brake as the Japanese constitution, the U.S. couldn't have suffered so much loss of lives in the wars. That's a hard fact and the reality that you must admit.

Now, as for the territorial row over the Senkakus, there's much room for talks as for its solution. Saber-rattling or a teeth-for-teeth or eye-for-eye confrontation wouldn't solve the problem at all.

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

JoeBigs Has Japan attacked fishing vessels that were in their own nations waters?

No.

Let me translate what you really mean.

a) PRC operates a militia disguised as a fish fleet, or calls upon its fish fleet to act as a militia. b) This militia has been making persistent interventions into Japanese waters, e.g. surrounding the Senakuks that China now wants. c) The Japanese naval Self Defence Force approaches these militia vessels and asks them to leave because it know very well what the PRC is up to. And it's not fishing for fish. d) Japanese naval Self Defence Force vessels have been rammed and even shot at by said Chinese militia. e) Under severe provocation, they might as the most use water canons on the Chinese militia to keep them away.

It's amazing how you guys are able to state the exact opposite to truth time and time again to confuse readers ... but we know this, it's been habitual of the hysterical tone of Maoist style propaganda brainwash for decades. It's like an mental or intellectual pollution spewing into the collective conscious of humanity requiring others to filter out, in just the same way China spews out air pollution or worthless junk consumer products that break the first time you use them.

Fortunately, its logic breaks the first time one examines it too.

I do with it would stop.

2 ( +4 / -2 )

voiceofokinawaMAY. 09, 2014 - 11:31AM JST If the U.S. constitution had the same war-stopping brake as the Japanese constitution, the U.S. couldn't have suffered so much loss of lives in the wars. That's a hard fact and the reality that you must admit.

Correct and if the US had a Pacifist Constitution the world would be speaking German right now. So, the world is lucky that the US didn't have a pacifist Constitution and did enter WWII rather than stayed out.

Thanks for making my point ever so clearer.

voiceofokinawaMAY. 09, 2014 - 11:31AM JST You say the U.S.A. is not the only nation "that has waged any wars in the past 69 years," advising me to "stop following propaganda.

No, what I am saying is that you made it seem as if the U.S of A was the only nation that has waged war since the end of WWII. By using the US as your only reference your agenda comes out loud and clear. If you would have really wanted to make a neutral claim then you would have left out any nation. But, you didn't and you showed your hand.

voiceofokinawaMAY. 09, 2014 - 11:31AM JST That there's been no Japanese death in war for the past 69 years thanks to the peace constitution is not a piece of propaganda by someone but a simple fact and nothing but a fact.

And in 55 of those years it's neighbors played nice and friendly with Japan. But now, those former friends aren't playing nice. They are threatening Japan with invasion of it's territories and Japan has had to rethink it's Pacifist Constitution.

Speaking of Japanese territories, you never answered my very simple question. Maybe you missed it, so I'll ask it again and this time I'll make it bold so you don't miss it.

Communist China has laid claim to Okinawa and Senkaku, do you think for the sake of Japan's Constitution that it should give Communist China those islands without a fight?

voiceofokinawaMAY. 09, 2014 - 11:31AM JST Similarly, that the U.S. has waged at least five wars during the same period and lost more than 100 thousand lives in those wars is not propaganda but a simple fact.

Well, you are close, so let me give you the skinny. From 1946 until today the US has lost around 85,000 soldiers due to wars, while it's total casualties are around 400,000.

Now, since we are doing the numbers game let's compare a few other nations.

Communist China from 1946 to today loses due to war 526,000 and total casualties 1,200,000. Sad part is that these are the best numbers that anyone can estimate because Communist China hides the actual deaths and casualties. As or civilian deaths, well that is also a state secret.

voiceofokinawaMAY. 09, 2014 - 11:31AM JST Now, as for the territorial row over the Senkakus, there's much room for talks as for its solution.

Neville Chamberlain thought as you do and that is why Germany and the Soviet Union invaded Poland. Least I forget, the Soviet Union also invaded Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania all because it knew that Chamberlain was a pacifist.

If you want peace, well then you best be ready to fight for it.

-1 ( +2 / -3 )

JoeBigs (May. 09, 2014 - 09:24PM JST):

I quoted the figures of U.S. deaths in wars from one source and you from another. The numbers do not exactly match, but it doesn't count very much for our discussion per se. Now you criticize me for not discussing the cases of both the former Soviet Union and China (I use the word "China" and not "Communist China" because the latter is rarely heard of these days). Both these countries (the former Soviet Union and China) are not my immediate concern as far as the numbers of war casualties are concerned.

But if you insist, then I will say you are implying that the U.S. and the former Soviet Union and the China which you seem to fear so much are all part of the same gang.

It's the U.S. that is at issue here mainly because it is the U.S. that is instigating Japan to discard its pacific constitution. MacArthur's GHQ may have been involved in guiding to draft the constitution but it was the Japanese people that received it wholeheartedly, believing it was a form of remorse and repentance for starting the war and the nation's war-time wrongdoings. The day it was promulgated was designated as an important national holiday and has been observed and celebrated with pomp and circumstances ever since except extreme right-wingers supposedly encouraged by the U.S.

To coerce Japan to revise the constitution means Japan is exonorated from crimes it committed during the war, thus encouraging revisionists like Shinzo Abe to persist to visit Yasukuni Shrine.

Therefore, for the U.S. to try to instigate Japan to revise the constitution so that the JSDF could wage wars and help U.S. forces fight global wars like Gulf and Afghanistan Wars regardless of the fact that they (the U.S. forces) already maintain 88 bases in Japan for free and collect 369 million dollars for their annual operating costs from Japanese taxpayers as if the nation was a U.S. colony (Okinawa is indeed literally a U.S. military colony) cannot be dismissed lightly.

You say I didn't answer your question on the territorial issue. Well, I did. I said: "there's much room for talks as for its solution. Saber-rattling or a teeth-for-teeth or eye-for-eye confrontation wouldn't solve the problem at all." Such approach will certainly increase a possibility for the situation to escalate into a more serious conflict. I can assure you there's no Hitler in present-day China or in North Korea. Prove if I am wrong.

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

@ JoeBigs

Correct and if the US had a Pacifist Constitution the world would be speaking German right now.

Joe, you have been drinking the "America Saved the World" Kool-Aid again. It was the might of the Soviet army that ground the Nazi down before the Americans finally rolled into town to mop up the credit. And, as with Nanking, where do we draw the circle of deaths?

In the US-backed 'war against independence', the US acted through General Suharto, the murderous Indonesian dictator, 1 to 2.5 million were slaughtered as the US embassy and CIA handed over lists of names of potential victims to the Suharto goons. The subsequent East Timor Genocide killed another 200,000 out of 600,000. 33 million went on to die. Add to that Papa Doc in Haiti, Occupied Iraq (1.5+ deaths), Occupied Afghanistan (3+ million).

**The primary concern about the revision of the Japanese constitution is not that Japan might go to war with anyone, it won't, but will the USA use it in its proxy wars and demand that Japanese soldiers must fight in support of its imperial expansion.

If short, for all the accusations of hawkish Japanese politicians - a convenient scapegoat yet again - is it the Americans who are behind this ... as in Abe being told to because the deaths of all the young American men and women is dubious wars of terror is becoming too politically and logistically hard back home?**

It would be easier in the USA to sacrificed a few Japanese at the altar of its economic domination instead.

-2 ( +1 / -3 )

Here is full Q & A

;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;

Q: The advisory panel, during its previous term, called for responses to cases under four categories, including the defense of U.S. naval vessels. What do you have to say about that?

A: The goal during our current term is not to categorize cases but to lift all legal bans. How can you categorize the right to individual self-defense? Could there be a category like, say, the advent of (attacks by) North Korea by way of sea and air?

There is one nuclear power that is belligerently encroaching on Japan's territorial waters. North Korea is developing nuclear arms and has used very rough language when it comes to Japan. If Japan should protect itself with only the right to individual self-defense (and not collective self-defense), it would have to become a nuclear power itself. Mutual assistance with a trustworthy ally is a better and more efficient way for Japan to maintain a minimum amount of military power and capability to meet its defensive needs.

Q: Previous administrations have banned the exercise of the right to collective self-defense through their interpretations of Article 9 of the Constitution. What is your take on that?

A: Interpretations need to change with the times. How would you meet Japan's security needs? Is it OK to stick to the same old rules even as military technology keeps advancing and China and North Korea are (becoming more powerful)? The Cabinet Legislation Bureau has never answered such questions.

(Allowing Japan to exercise collective self-defense) means giving it the option. Whether Japan should be allowed to exercise it in all cases will most likely be discussed when the SDF Law is amended.

Q: Under the current interpretation of the Constitution, Japan is not allowed to exercise collective self-defense because doing so falls short of the requirement of a “pressing and unjust encroachment on Japanese territory." What do you say about that?

A: What is "pressing and unjust encroachment"? All encroachment is pressing and unjust. There are also some weaknesses in the interpretation of what constitutes the right to individual self-defense. We may also point that out (in our report).

Q: Don't you believe that allowing Japan to exercise the right to collective self-defense will fundamentally change Japan's traditional stance of adhering to an "exclusively defensive posture"?

A: An "exclusively defensive posture" does not mean that you will only take military action after you have been attacked. You are allowed to exercise self-defense when the situation becomes pressing. We have to think a bit harder about what an “exclusively defensive posture” actually means. Self-defense does not mean you will never launch an attack. It means you will try to wage your actions in a very restrained manner. An "exclusively defensive posture" does not mean all offensive military options are to be excluded.

Q: How do you think Japan should respond when the United States asks it to exercise collective self-defense?

A: The Afghan War, the Iraq War and the like fall under the concept of collective security. Japan has the option to join (such wars) if they have been authorized by the United Nations and dozens of other countries are also taking part.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

voiceofokinawaMAY. 10, 2014 - 12:41AM JST I quoted the figures of U.S. deaths in wars from one source and you from another. The numbers do not exactly match, but it doesn't count very much for our discussion per se.

This is where we differ, I rightly don't care whose numbers are closer to the fact. What I care about is what this topic is about, Japan's need to revise it's antiquated Constitution.

voiceofokinawaMAY. 10, 2014 - 12:41AM JST Now you criticize me for not discussing the cases of both the former Soviet Union and China

No, I'm pointing out that you brought in one nation as some sort of proof rather than keeping the topic about Japan. You used the US as an example and tried to make it the topic. I pointed out that the US hasn't been the only nation since the end of WWII to wage war.

In other words, why not continue the topic of why Japan needs to keep or remove Article rather than turning this into a PRC propaganda debate?

voiceofokinawaMAY. 10, 2014 - 12:41AM JST But if you insist, then I will say you are implying that the U.S. and the former Soviet Union and the China which you seem to fear so much are all part of the same gang.

I am not insisting on anything. Now, we jump to another hoop. Why are they all a gang now? It sounds as if you are dancing to ten totally different bands.

voiceofokinawaMAY. 10, 2014 - 12:41AM JST It's the U.S. that is at issue here mainly because it is the U.S. that is instigating Japan to discard its pacific constitution.

The US has nothing to do with this topic. Sure the US would love it if Japan revised it's antiquated Constitution, but the US can't instigate anything. Japan has been wanting to rid itself of that anchor for years, but hasn't had the real need to do it until recently. Thank you Communist China and it's Imperialistic dreams.

BTW, it wasn't the US that burned down Japanese factories and businesses in Communist China. It also isn't US warships, Coast Guard ships, Intelligence Gathering ships and fishing vessels invading Japanese water either.

Communist China is the nation that is pushing Japan away from it Pacifist Constitution. If you want to complain why not point your anger at the right nation.

As for me, well I am tickled pink and will pop a bottle of champagne I have in the fridge when Article 9 is no more.

voiceofokinawaMAY. 10, 2014 - 12:41AM JST The day it was promulgated was designated as an important national holiday and has been observed and celebrated with pomp and circumstances ever since except extreme right-wingers supposedly encouraged by the U.S.

Extreme Right Wingers? Name one of these Extreme Right Wingers of yours who is part of Abe's government.

voiceofokinawaMAY. 10, 2014 - 12:41AM JST To coerce Japan to revise the constitution means Japan is exonorated from crimes it committed during the war, thus encouraging revisionists like Shinzo Abe to persist to visit Yasukuni Shrine.

Where do you get this fanciful belief of yours from? Germany and Italy have no restrictions on their military's so why should Japan?

So, you are angry that a leader of a nation visits his nations war memorial.

Okay, let's see how far does your anger go, Mao killed off many many more Chinese than anyone else in history and he did it in record time.

How do you feel when Communist leaders visit Mao's tomb?

voiceofokinawaMAY. 10, 2014 - 12:41AM JST Therefore, for the U.S. to try to instigate Japan to revise the constitution so that the JSDF could wage wars

One more time, the US isn't instigating anything, threats from Communist are.

voiceofokinawaMAY. 10, 2014 - 12:41AM JST You say I didn't answer your question on the territorial issue. Well, I did. I said: "there's much room for talks as for its solution.

So, in other words you would hand over Okinawa and Senkaku to Communist China without a peep. Thank you for at last saying what you want. From the get go all you could have just said that you want Japan to hand over Okinawa and Senkaku to Communist China rather than dancing around like you have been.

voiceofokinawaMAY. 10, 2014 - 12:41AM JST I can assure you there's no Hitler in present-day China or in North Korea. Prove if I am wrong.

I don't need to provide proof of anything, Communist China's actions are all the proof the world needs of there Imperialist intentions. They are riding the same crazy train Germany rode of it's way to war.

Mister EdMAY. 10, 2014 - 03:15AM JST Joe, you have been drinking the "America Saved the World" Kool-Aid again. It was the might of the Soviet army that ground the Nazi down before the Americans finally rolled into town to mop up the credit. And, as with Nanking, where do we draw the circle of deaths?

I never said the US won the war single handedly, you just took it as so.

First off, there wouldn't of been a Soviet offensive if the US hadn't helped to supply the Soviet Union. After the end of Operation Barbarossa which had ended on Dec 5th 1941 the Soviet military was in no shape to mount anything. All it could do was hold the ground it had.

The Soviets needed resources and material if it was to make any counter offensive. The US-Soviet land-lease agreement was just not enough. Then on December 7th, 1941 Japan handed the Soviets their much needed supplies by attacking the US. Right after that the US began supplying the Soviets with military supplies and bingo, a Soviet offensive.

The US had something that the allies needed, resources and materials. If it wasn't for those two the Soviets would have gone nowhere and been forced to sign a truce with Germany.

Now, if you want to talk about Nanjing I'll ask first. Which version of that battle do you want to talk about? The SIS version, KMT version, CPC version, Iris Chang version or the Nationalist Japanese version? Those numbers range from 20,000 to 400,000 pick a number and then let's talk.

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JoeBigs May. 10, 2014 - 07:57AM JST So, you are angry that a leader of a nation visits his nations war memorial. Okay, let's see how far does your anger go, Mao killed off many many more Chinese than anyone else in history and he did it in record time.

So are you defending Japan's action of Chinese massacure from 1931-45? Last time I checked, it was Japan that was the invading force of a sovereign country.

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sfjp330MAY. 10, 2014 - 08:08AM JST So are you defending Japan's action of Chinese massacure from 1931-45? Last time I checked, it was Japan that was the invading force of a sovereign country.

No, point out when I tried to justify what Japan or any other nation did during World War II or any other war. My point is simple and valid, Communist China cries foul when Japan does anything to pay it's respects for it fallen. But, if anyone brings up the fact that Mao murdered more of his people than anyone else in the history of China people don't see the hypocrisy of having him entombed and proper and worshiped like a god.

Now, as to your point, it sounds like you are saying that Japan doesn't have the right to morn their fallen sons, daughters and citizens who died serving their nation in the past.

If those 13 so-called class A war criminals weren't there folks would still find a reason to complain about the shrine.

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Please allow me to make an opening statement before returning to keep discussion 'on topic'.

@sfjp330

Your portrayal or understanding of event is typically skewed. Japan did not set out to massacre. In the beginning, it's intentions were clearly idealistic and inspired. It set out to liberate Asia from Western influences that had seen it reduced to slavery, and modernise it. It meant with resistances that were most definitely neither benign nor having the interests of their subjects at heart. Conflicts arose.

Given that China was certainly not one, you really have to remove events from a purely nationalistic point of view. What was happening in Asia was more a conflict between the influence of reforming modernity, and oppressively conservative vested interests. The idea that those feudal elites or local war lords really had any interest in the welfare of the people they dominated is a joke. Let's remember what life was like under Qing.

A mere 30 years before the first Sino-Japanese War, during the Taiping Rebellion, 30 million Chinese died at Chinese hands. 30 years after Japan left the region, as many as 70 million Chinese had died at Chinese hands. During both, 100,000s of were injured, tortured, oppressed and society suffered to get to where China is today, with its poor quality of life, poverty and oppression of the masses, and an authoritarian form of capitalism that most benefits its elite.

It's hard not to question whether if the oppressively conservative and in many case clearly corrupt and vicious feudal forces had not resisted the modern influences coming through Japan, and they had not provoked it, that the experience and existence of the ordinary people, would have been better off, at least equal that of Japan today.

More than probably better off. Instead they are oppressed and denied rights by the CPC.

There's nothing more wonderful about being oppressed and killed by individuals from your own immediate geography than being liberated or having your quality of life vastly improved by individuals from another neighboring geography.

It often seems as if these reactionary nationalists in China and Korea would rather have been oppressed by member of "their own team", than liberated by "the opposite team" ... when what Japan is saying is that "we are not 'the opposite team', we are all part of the same team".

So the question is regarding pacifist constitutions and the assumptions are that all war is wrong and that Japan is bound to become an irrational belligerent aggressor. I doubt anyone with any brains really believes that.

But is all military action wrong?

Would, for exactly, a pre-emptive campaign against North Korea intent not on dominating it but liberating the people of North Korea and removing the threat of the dictatorship there be a bad thing? As North Korea has clearly demonstrated aggressive overtures towards Japan, would it be unwise to neutralize them before the trigger was pulled and innocent civilians suffer?

Under its "War on Terror", "War against Communism", "War on Drugs" etc etc the USA has justified military interventions all over the world, should Japan not have the same right to protect its people? Or even to join in and support the USA if it feels its pre-emptive campaigns are just?

The situation at present does not even allow Japanese troops abroad, supporting the UNs etc, to defend themselves properly.

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Mr Kitaoka -2012: SDF officials criticized that "Even he was not expert on armaments, he pushed his idea of SDF equipments, organization, that is not reality of SDF"

.He is well known as the Japanese whose style is not influenced by past taboo and custom.

About Japan SDF sending, he supported as the capture of Fusein will stabilize Iraq political scene he theorized.

He is not a politician but he had influenced Foreign Ministry, even Hatoyama whose family members were all known as scholars than politicians.

He is above politicians. We have to watch what is his plan to change Japanese Constitution.

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Extreme Right Wingers? Name one of these Extreme Right Wingers of yours who is part of Abe's government.

Well now, How about Abe himself! Next let see.... there's Taro Aso, the Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Finance, Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga just to name another. Shall I mention the ones that make their hush-hush trips to Yasukuni or the ones that like to have it all video taped and run on that evenings news?

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Revision of Constitution: Not proposed by opinions. When GHQ was proposing to change Meiji Constitution, GHQ recruited Charles Kades. (see his article on Wikipedia) Opinions will not be used by anyone who want to change Constitution, Need people who have legal background. In Japan's case, PhD in law, not just lawyer experience or majored law. Expert in Japanese Foreign and Political History. More than professor level.

Laymen can assist like VisCountessa Tsuruyo Torio who punched her idea of 'No more War' and 'Democracy' to mind of Kades, (Old magazine Shinso)

This is where Kitaoka comes.

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JoeBigs (May. 10, 2014 - 07:57AM JST):

As for the number of deaths derived from wars, what I wanted to point out was that in the past 69 years there has been no single death on the part of Japan while the U.S. suffered more than 100 thousand (or you may offer your own figure). Japan's zero number is miraculous in the post-World War Two world where we have witnessed war after war with the U.S. being a major player. Under such circumstances, one can indeed say Japan's luck was due to the war-denouncing Peace Constitution.

You say the constitution is outdated and must be scrapped. I don't think so. I rather think it's the vanguard, a role model, that every country should emulate. If the U.S. Constitution had a provision like Article 9 of the Japanese Constitution, renouncing "war as a sovereign right of the nation and the threat or use of force as means of settling international disputes," George W. Bush couldn't have invaded Iraq and Afghanistan so easily. What are the consequences of these wars?

Doing away with Article 9 of the Japanese Constitution will certainly open the way for Japan to fight such futile wars along with the U.S. I wonder why you say you will get tickled pink and pop a bottle of champaigne if the constitution was done away with? What benefit would it bring to the U.S.? Enormously lucrative benefits, would it not?

The former U.S. Secretary of State Richard Armitage brazenly called upon the nation to revise the constitution through the media, in writing and what not. But as soon as he found it wasn't an easy task, taking too much time nobody knew how long, he switched his strategy and began to urge the nation to orient to the reinterpretation of Article 9 rather than revise it. Behind him must have been Joseph Nye, a theorist, who said the reinterpretation of the constitution could do just as well as the revision of it.

Shinzo Abe has been in the pro-revision camp but he leaped at the reinterpretation theory now for the sake of convenience.

What lay ahead of us if Abe's agenda were to be realized would be a real catastrophe for Japan. For a jingoist like you, that's the time you celebrate the occasion and the success of your manipulation with a bottle of champagne.

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That's 69 years ... on top of the history of 250 years during Edo ... and we must remember that the vast majority of Japanese were never either historically nor democratically involved in acts of military aggression.

And that is why they should not be blamed, shamed or bowed by the insane accusations of the various Race Hate mobs.

(Historically, those that engineered the Meiji revolution were less than 10% of the samurai class alone which, if you exclude their women, children and elderly comes down to a single figure. And not even all of them were united behind the responses to provocations which led to the Sino and Pacific Wars).

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Actually, Nakaoka is not for revising text of Constitution but he has been pushing reinterpretation of Constitution. So, his idea will not need to have lengthy Amendment proposals that had failed in past. This, no one in past preached his method. I think that is why Abe is depending on Nakaoka than politicians who propose amendment of article 9. We will hear more on his idea and conditions beside practicability of reinterpretation in case some countries ask Japan to help their cause. Under current understanding of Article 9, Japan can not help S. Korea or USA when N Korea is ready to shoot misile, but his interpretation enables to defend USA Force in Japan/ Hope he will reveal what his panel are doing very soon. This is just my guess because Nakaoka never showed interest in amending Article 9.

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voiceofokinawaMAY. 10, 2014 - 11:59PM JST Doing away with Article 9 of the Japanese Constitution will certainly open the way for Japan to fight such futile wars along with the U.S.

More what ifs and maybes than anyone can shack a stick at. Tell me, has Italy or Germany ever started conquering it's neighbors in the last 69 years? No, of course not they have acted responsible and have only done what needed to be done when a real threat arose.

So, why is Japan so different in your mind? Do you actually believe that Japan is an irresponsible nation that is dying to go to war again?

I know they aren't irresponsible and I am 100% certain that they will only use military force to protect their nation.s territories against invasion.

voiceofokinawaMAY. 10, 2014 - 11:59PM JST As for the number of deaths derived from war

You were attempting in imply that the US is the one that is pushing for the removal of Article 9. But, here you are as far from the reality as a Harry Potter Novel.

The nation that has pushed Japan to this point is Communist China and not the US.

Mr. PerfectMAY. 10, 2014 - 07:36PM JST Well now, How about Abe himself! Next let see.... there's Taro Aso, the Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Finance, Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga just to name another.

Le me guess, you believe that George W Bush was also a far right winger and President Obama is a Socialist.

The LDP and it's leadership is as far to the right as any US President in the last 100 years. In other words, no they aren't.

Mr. PerfectMAY. 10, 2014 - 07:36PM JST Shall I mention the ones that make their hush-hush trips to Yasukuni or the ones that like to have it all video taped and run on that evenings news?

Does that even matter? No it doesn't it only matters in the realm of propaganda and state sponsored brainwashing. History has passed the Communist but they just don't know it.

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@Mr. Perfect: Well now, How about Abe himself! Next let see.... there's Taro Aso, the Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Finance, Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga just to name another. Shall I mention the ones that make their hush-hush trips to Yasukuni or the ones that like to have it all video taped and run on that evenings news?

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Suga had heated argument against one of conservative in a Diet meeting when conservative argued there was no comfort woman, Suga declared he will do research to prove Comfort Woman system Japanese military did. Then scholars and SDF stuffs helped him. SDF Library keeps old documents. Abe helped Suga could get help from scholars.. Suga has been at odd with so-called conservatives. Aso is just a big mouth. He is not Shintoist. Aso has been Catholic for a long time. IUltra Conservative in LDP Why Tomomi Inada's name is not mentioned? I think you should investigate LDP members background so that you can mention their names instead of familiar names like Abe , Aso, Suga.

How about discuss about Kitaoka's speeches and why Abe is using Kitaoka as his adviser.

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@ JoeBigs

Let me guess, you believe that George W Bush was also a far right winger and President Obama is a Socialist. The LDP and it's leadership is as far to the right as any US President in the last 100 years. In other words, no they aren't.

Well said. Unfortunately that's still not on the Troll Army script and so they won't be able to admit it even though a part of their brain probably recognising the truth in what you are saying.

If there's a truth about Abe and the LDP, it's that it's mind numbingly and boringly middle of the road.

Going to the Yasukuni does not equate to "extremity" nor militarism.

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Here is why Abe and Aso visit Yasukuni . At Boshin war, Abe's relative ancestor Kogoro Katsura (Kido) faced Shogun attacks to current Yamaguchi-ken, from way south of Kyushu ,Aso;s ancestor Toshimochi O-kubo organized Current Kagoshima-ken samurais to help to fight against Shogun. Both were herpes of Meiji Ishin and alive but both prefectures have too many families that have their ancestors enshrined in Yasukuni. Just give respect to dead soldiers by theiir ancestors' Boshin War heroism. Not because they are extremity not militarism.

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No, Toshiko.

They visit Yasukuni to make a stupid, out-dated political point. There's nothing romantic or worthy involved. The sooner they die, the better.

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Not being involved in any wars for that long, is something to be proud of! Why would anyone want to change that?

When your not being involved in wars for that long is predicated on protection provided by a country that engages in lots of war, then that is not something to be proud of.

I

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voiceofokinawaMay. Now, as for the territorial row over the Senkakus, there's much room for talks as for its solution. Saber-rattling or a >teeth-for-teeth or eye-for-eye confrontation wouldn't solve the problem at all.

I hope Japan's neighbour countries to have article 9, so Japan won't care the revision of the constitution. Why did Japan get "Laser irradiation" from the Army of neighboring countries in spite of Japan's article 9? How will you react it? It seems

Mr, Abe isn't hawkish nor nationalist, but a politician who's cared Japan normally.

If you really think "there's much room for talks as for its solution", please persuade China to stop massacre in Tibet,Uygur and Turkestan. When Chinese fish vessel collided intentionally the Japanese coast guard ship in 2010, China blamed Japan with the collision and demanded the cost of refitting a ship. You should know Japan has been surrounded the countries with which Japan can't have a talk logically and peacefully.

It seems very funny that countries caused wars even after WW2 oppose the elimination of article 9 from the constitution whose the country didn’t engage in any war more than a half a century.

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@lucabrasiMAY. 12, 2014 - 09:51PM JST

No, Toshiko.

They visit Yasukuni to make a stupid, out-dated political point. There's nothing romantic or worthy involved. The sooner they die, the better.

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So when Abe was a child in Tokyo, he had a stupid, out-of-dated political point, every year just like other Yamaguchi-ken origined Tokyo residents who visited Yasukuni periodically?

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You need justification to keep so many bases on foreign soil. The Cold War provided an appropriate justification for it. But the Cold War is long over now and you need to find other fit reasons for this extraordinary military presence in Japan (Okinawa in particular). .

The Pentagon has thus searched for reasons for maintaining the status quo and come up with expedients such as international terrorism, natural calamities, North Korea's nuclearization and finally the "China threat." Territorial rows over the Senkakus provide timely happenings for the sake of the U.S. military.

JoeBigs, you say China is the reason for Japan to try to revise the constitution. But you must know who opened Pandora's box first that has brought about this chaotic situation. It had been tacitly agreed between Japan and China to shelve the territorial issue but the Noda administration breached that mutual understanding unilaterally, saying there is no territorial dispute between the two countries and so bought the two islands in question.

Anything can happen in the Machiavellian world of diplomacy. And I always suspect there was some mystery figure who approached Tokyo Governor Shintaro Ishihara in 2012 and instigated him to buy two islands in the Senkaku Islands, fully knowing it would cause trouble. That was the start of today's Sino-Japanese rows and tensions over the Senkakus. I can now imagine a broad grin on the face of that mystery man. The U.S. military presence in Okinawa is solidly guaranteed as a result. The Futenma-to-Henoko relocation plan would be expedited as a result, too.

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