politics

Abe may push nationalism after election

39 Comments
By MALCOLM FOSTER and MARI YAMAGUCHI

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Abe has called the current history curriculum self-abusive and too apologetic to Asian neighbors over Japans wartime actions.

Yikes

9 ( +11 / -2 )

“Being a nationalist means devoting your political effort to making your country stronger,” former U.S. National Security Council staffer Mike Green said recently at the Japan National Press Club. “That’s exactly what Japan needs, and that’s exactly what the U.S. needs from Japan.”

It confirms what I told tons of times...Behind Japan politics, there are always the USA. It's obvious. Japan is getting more nationallist because the USA needs it. Sad.

1 ( +8 / -8 )

“Being a nationalist means devoting your political effort to making your country stronger,” former U.S. National Security Council staffer Mike Green said recently at the Japan National Press Club. “That’s exactly what Japan needs, and that’s exactly what the U.S. needs from Japan.”

This belief was held in some countries in the 1930s. It led to their destruction in the 1940s. I thought Americans knew about this.

Sheila Smith seems so much more sensible.

6 ( +7 / -1 )

Abe owes his rise to prime minister in part to right-wing supporters in his party who expect him to pursue their agenda. That may include laying the groundwork for revising Japan’s pacifist constitution, promoting traditional family values and making changes to the education system to instill more patriotism in students. Abe has called the current history curriculum “self-abusive” and too apologetic to Asian neighbors over Japan’s wartime actions.

Stupid analysis. Were these supporters hiding by not going to the polls for all these years? Did they just let DPJ win the lower house election four years ago?

The answer is simple. If the voters are choosing LDP and Abe because of his foreign policy be it in the Lower house or this Upper house election, they just simply got tired of their constant whining by the two neighbors. There is a point where even the most sympathetic population who supported good relations with those two in the past have limits.

-12 ( +4 / -16 )

A survey of 3,088 people on July 5-7 by national broadcaster NHK showed 28 percent said revision is needed, 26 percent said it was unnecessary and 36 percent were undecided.

36% undecided

36% UNDECIDED

WAKE UP.

5 ( +6 / -1 )

Abe may push nationalism after election

There is no MAY, there is only WILL.

2 ( +5 / -3 )

“Being a nationalist means devoting your political effort to making your country stronger,” former U.S. National Security Council staffer Mike Green said

No... that's patriotism, not nationalism. Nationalism is the belief in the superiority of your own nation above others.

36% undecided 36% UNDECIDED WAKE UP.

Well to be fair it's more like there's not any decent party to vote in Japan.

6 ( +10 / -4 )

How has it ever been Apologetic? I dont get it. Lets see the similarities. Example; Imagine the people of Germany 'offering praise and worship to a Shrine dedicated to 'Hitler' each year.. umm Right, smart move from Apologetic JP. I think the word is lost in translation somewhere.

11 ( +11 / -0 )

Of course he will. He's been waiting for the opportunity to take Japan back to the good old military days since he was reelected. Reducing the required threshold for amendments to the constitution; abolishing Article 9; promoting "patriotism" in schools; thinking that human rights need to be redefined in a way more suitable to "the national interest". Abe is going to drag Japan back to the 1930s.

It proves once again that the Japanese political establishment has not changed much at all since the war, and they're just waiting for a chance to break free from constitutional chains and assert their power in Asia again.

5 ( +6 / -1 )

Yesterday I heard some bone head in Shibuya talking about confrontation and war with China. I looked around and saw all the young men and women in the crossing. The same young people who would carry the bloody burden of a war while that 50 something political prat would be at home couch driving the war and well away from harm.

Nationalism in an age of so called Globalism is pure idiocy for Japan. Japan a country that needs immediate immigration of talent and people to support herself in the coming decades. Japan who could be a leading nation for peace and common sense if her leaders had the right stuff to maker her the pacifist state for peace and rightfully take center stage in global affairs as such.

Nationalists forget history, or at least distort it. Abe and other nationalists do no remember the last war. They are too young to fully appreciate what really happens in such a nationalistic time. They forget that Japan is an island and China nearly a continent by comparison. They forget China's vast population, natural resources, huge population of young people to turn into soldiers and capacity to move their production out of harms way if a war comes. While this island would suffer the same fate it did in WWII in any war scenario.

Nationalists are history's murderers. Along side rabid adherents to any "isms" who use their belief systems to send people to die for "the cause."

The young people of Japan need to rise up, not in nationalism, but in common sense and in inspired political movements to realize the potential of Japan. But sadly I hear far too few voices doing so. It may be soon time to leave Japan to her nationalist future and find another home. Sadly my own country is suffering from the same foolishness.

9 ( +11 / -2 )

Next: Co-Prosperity Sphere 2!

0 ( +1 / -1 )

36% undecided

I know what you are saying, but did the survey ask whether they feel any change in the Constitution might be desirable or specifically changes along the lines that are being proposed?

Because if it is the latter, I can sympathize. For some reason every party in Japan seems to feel "amendment" means making changes to almost every article. So you can support the changes to Article while opposing the ones rewording the guarantee of rights and so on. Overall the result is undecided.

Nationalism in an age of so called Globalism is pure idiocy for Japan. Japan a country that needs immediate immigration of talent and people to support herself in the coming decades. Japan who could be a leading nation for peace and common sense if her leaders had the right stuff to maker her the pacifist state for peace and rightfully take center stage in global affairs as such.

They tried this pacifist sh*t for 40 years - it turns out that the United States wants their participation in their parties while China is merely waiting to catch up. It doesn't work.

Japan a country that needs immediate immigration of talent and people to support herself in the coming decades.

Yes, but is it the same country if all this "immigration" causes it to divert seriously from its own roots?

Lets see the similarities. Example; Imagine the people of Germany 'offering praise and worship to a Shrine dedicated to 'Hitler' each year

It is not a shrine to Hitler. At most you might compare it to a shrine where every German soldier who died in its wars are interred and which happens to include Hitler. There's a distinction.

There is no MAY, there is only WILL.

Well, there is no doubt he wants to. The question is whether he'll actually make the push.

Personally, I just wish he phases his pushes so we get the Defense stuff over the fence, then we find something to swap him out before he puts too much "patroitism" into the program.

-3 ( +3 / -6 )

In a global world where lots of people already dislike you, 'nationalism' is not an effective policy to have.

6 ( +8 / -2 )

Somebody better 'splain some economics to Abe.

See, back when they were an exporting powerhouse, they could afford to snub their Asian neighbors. But now, their Asian neighbors are not only their biggest customers, but also their fiercest competition.

So now is NOT the best time in Japan's history to take any kind of aggressive stance. But then again, I see plenty of examples of Japan being TOTALLY OK with trading a feeling of MORE Japanese Nationalism for LESS economic success.

Just so the common folk know that "Japan Rocks, China Sucks" might feel good, but it will mean a much worse economy.

5 ( +7 / -2 )

With China becoming ever more stronger (militarily and economically) now is not the time to become uppity. This is a very tough neighborhood and the only reason it has been stable for as long as it has is because of the United States. Period. I completely understand Japan's need for a decent defense force and try to move away from its over reliance on the US for protection, but to start waving the flag of nationalism and taunting China ( who would love to bite back) ...Well, I just can't see how this is going end well for Japan... A war economically or militarily will soon be impossible against China....Accept this and and put all the nationalistic energy and fervor into new ideas for building better diplomatic relations.

1 ( +4 / -3 )

Abe is a neoliberal wearing the mask of a patriot.

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

Thank god, it is time to revive nationalistic sentiments. For far too long the right has been silenced on issues that should matter to voters. There has to be a national body politic that resonates with traditional Japanese values that shape the country. I think there is no denying this.

-9 ( +2 / -11 )

Talexa05 Japanese values such as revising history? Let's for argument's sake, say that Abe's version of history is correct. How the hell is becoming more nationalistic going to help Japan? Economically, Japan is being eclipsed by both China and Korea...Most agree that Japan's best days are behind it. Socially, there is an ever growing aging population, a declining birth rate, and the young Japanese (from my layman's perspective) are a pampered, coddled bunch that pale in comparison to their previous generations. Militarily, it is completely dependent on the United States, and even if it had a decent military, the Chinese military is formidable now. What values are you talking about?

0 ( +2 / -2 )

..why don't people look at the present instead of the past.. Nationalism has always failed, because yes it is;

“Being a nationalist means devoting your political effort to making your country stronger,” former U.S. National Security Council staffer Mike Green said recently at the Japan National Press Club.

but a country lives between neighboring countries and one cannot grow strong by threading on those (or any other countries..). Look at Germany, why did people accept Germany after the war, but many still cringe at Japan?

More nationalism will bring about more hate. Please don't go back there Japan..if you want to go back to something, there's the Heian period to look at instead of Showa.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Of course he will. That's his real goal. This "Abenomics" BS is just shadow play, a way to try to appeal to a public that just cannot be bothered by political issues.

As many posters before me have stated, Japan has zero to gain from becoming a more nationalistic country. Sure, it might feel great and all but it is the wrong way to go.

The right way to go would be to open up more. Get influenced, share ideas, promote stability through interaction, new ideas, openness... Sadly, the years I've been here, Japan seems to go more towards "restoration", "revival", "re-this" and "re-that". That can only mean I live in a country without any new ideas. It doesn't matter where you live - you know that, whenever people in power wants to take a country back to "roots" or "values", or what have you, you are dealing with people who have no clue.

Listen. There is no way back to what once was. There is only forward.

I would've been proud to live in a country that promoted more acceptance and openness. That is not Japan 2013 and it doesn't look to be the Japan of the future either.

1 ( +3 / -2 )

for Abe's japan, the truth means "self abusive and overly apologetic"

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

Let us agree that really, the best time to be nationalistic was 1990-2010, when the capability of China and Korea to threaten Japan was relatively limited and Japan had the least need to please the United States (due to deficiencies in its defense).

But now that the Japanese (thanks to being too worried by issues that you guys raise) have left this fine opportunity by, the next best thing is to have it now, before the Correlation of Forces get even worse.

-2 ( +1 / -3 )

This is a very tough neighborhood and the only reason it has been stable for as long as it has is because of the United States.

It's completely the opposite. The presence of the USA is what makes Asia not stable.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

No one wants war, but changing the constitution will be one of the few messages China understands. The pro-China weasels here can bury their heads as much as they like but Asian countries have to face the reality of China's evident aggression (Sansha, new borders in their passports, etc), unlike JT-reading expats who will flee at the first sign of any real trouble.

-2 ( +1 / -3 )

There's a lot of supposition in this. One researcher says he THINKS Abe will use his increased power to go all nationalistic. It's not written in stone for Pete's sake.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

How does Korea even remotely threaten Japan? Such nonsense is the byproduct of today's Japan.

Let us agree that really, the best time to be nationalistic was 1990-2010, when the capability of China and Korea to threaten Japan was relatively limited

-3 ( +1 / -5 )

Sadly my own country is suffering from the same foolishness.

It is called nationalims and populism, and currently, because of the global economic crisis, you can find them basically everywhere, also in Europe.

Anyway, no matter which party rules Japan, it will always remain a right-wing country because of the USA's influence.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Yay, back to the square one. Ah, the good old days.

-3 ( +0 / -3 )

Here's the deal people! Cry about Japan reverting to the 1930's all you want! The reality is that Japan purely doesn't want to attack anybody and invade a sovereign countrys' land this time. China started all this, and their little tributary Hermit Kingdom puppet isn't helping things either. Neighbors and allies of Japan, which are Taiwan, Vietnam, Philippines, SK (because of US), India shouldn't be afraid of a strong Japan either. They all face the same threats from China that Japan does. Point is that Japan wants to harm nobody, and should also rearm on behalf of the region and continent.

Also, as an American, I'm a very big proponent of the US-Japan alliance/security treaty. I understand that Japan is one of the few countries that respects my country and our presence in Japan. However, I see the politics and perils of isolationism returning. I increasingly doubt my countrys commitment of defending Japan and the countries I mentioned above. Therefore, Japan is on her own I'm afraid.

0 ( +3 / -3 )

Why not ? It's not fascism so what's wrong with that.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

This is going boil down to a world battle over natural resources and territories under the guise of nationalism. In other words...mine..no that's mine. Ugh.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

It confirms what I told tons of times...Behind Japan politics, there are always the USA. It's obvious. Japan is getting more nationallist because the USA needs it. Sad.

More specifically, the US military-industrial complex needs it. Increased nationalism leads to greater military expenditures, which would be higher sales for US firms like Lockheed Martin, Boeing, General Dynamics, etc. It's all about the Benjamins.

-1 ( +2 / -3 )

Here's the deal people! Cry about Japan reverting to the 1930's all you want! The reality is that Japan purely doesn't want to attack anybody and invade a sovereign countrys' land this time.

alright kid, if you say so.

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

nigelboy said:

Stupid analysis. Were these supporters hiding by not going to the polls for all these years? Did they just let DPJ win the lower house election four years ago?<

Actually the article makes it clear that Abe owes his rise as PM to right-wing supporters in his party. That is the LDP politicians in his party that lend him their support.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Actually the article makes it clear that Abe owes his rise as PM to right-wing supporters in his party. That is the LDP politicians in his party that lend him their support

Sorry. You still need the voting public to vote these LDP candidates in their respective districts to gain the majority seats.

This is typical Western journalism. Assume Abe is right wing ---> must have gotten support from right wing supporters since they won the seats.

-3 ( +1 / -4 )

nigelboy

The answer is simple. If the voters are choosing LDP and Abe because of his foreign policy be it in the Lower house or this Upper house election, they just simply got tired of their constant whining by the two neighbors. There is a point where even the most sympathetic population who supported good relations with those two in the past have limits.

Hey nigelboy... this is not 2chan. People with actual lives don't really care about supposed friction with South Korea and China. Your "analysis" is very infantile. Only about 35% of the voters are voting for the LDP and that counts the special interest groups like the Nokyo and the construction mafias who are benefiting from the LDP. Really the Internet right-wingers are just hilarious... thinking that the whole world revolves around their incredibly infantile, naive, ridiculous views.

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

Hey nigelboy... this is not 2chan. People with actual lives don't really care about supposed friction with South Korea and China. Your "analysis" is very infantile. Only about 35% of the voters are voting for the LDP and that counts the special interest groups like the Nokyo and the construction mafias who are benefiting from the LDP. Really the Internet right-wingers are just hilarious... thinking that the whole world revolves around their incredibly infantile, naive, ridiculous views.

The operative word here is "If" at the very beginning. Reading is fundamental.

-3 ( +2 / -5 )

And? Most people don't actually approve of the views of the fringe Internet right-wring groups.

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

And? Most people don't actually approve of the views of the fringe Internet right-wring groups.

Actually you are correct that the voting public doesn't care about the foreign relations especially with the two loud neighbors. If they did, they would of voiced their opinions to do something about it which was the case even for Koizumi which prompted an apology as well establishment of Asian Women Fund. Despite the even increased whining from the two compared to those years the opposition parties' candidates didn't really address the issue as well. If this issue was somehow in the back of the minds of the voters, then I revert to my original comment on this article.

-2 ( +3 / -5 )

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