politics

Abe pledges to bolster economy, defense in Diet policy speech

43 Comments
By Mari Yamaguchi

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“I eat Fukushima rice at the prime minister’s office every day. It’s delicious,” Abe said, urging consumers to do the same and “not to be confused by rumors.”

Call me a sceptic but I find that soundbite about eating Fukushima rice at the office everyday a little too hard to swallow Mr. Abe. I`ll call BS on that one.

8 ( +11 / -3 )

Prime Minister Shinzo Abe pledged Tuesday to bolster Japan’s security and participation in international peacekeeping efforts, steps he says the country needs to survive an increasingly insecure environment.

First question: Where did all this insecurity stem from? Everything had been peaceful until Japan reneged on its agreement with China. So all that Abe is saying is nothing but self-justification. The same self-justification that gave reason for its invasion of China and the rest of Southeast Asia. The same denial that the Nanjing Massacre never happened. If these were all true then similarly the bombing of Nagasaki and Hiroshima didn't happen as well. Neither did Fukushima and the many falsehoods that the Japanese people and their politicians chose to believe in. And, the same with Japan Today, a government mouth-piece that refuses to see facts.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Will will the pro-nuclear propaganda MADNESS stop!

2 ( +6 / -4 )

speech worth 20 cents, Nikkei went up Y26 !

-2 ( +2 / -4 )

Utter BS! You don't need to participate in international peacekeeping efforts to bolster home defense. This is just Abe's usual BS method of trying to look like the good guy while he tries to roll Japan back to his grandpappy's day. Don't buy it, people.

3 ( +9 / -6 )

He didn't say he would bolster security BY participating in international peacekeeping efforts. He said he would bolster security AND participate in international peacekeeping.

Letting your biases interfere with your comprehension skills, homeslice.

-1 ( +4 / -5 )

Japan has every right to defend its self with its military and to use its military in anyway it wishes. Between a powerful Japan and a powerful dictatorship of China. I pick and support Japan any day!

-3 ( +4 / -6 )

Hoopla: sorry, 'homeslice', but what I said stands--this announcement is merely a lead-in to changing Article 9 of the constitution, in an attempt to soften said change. Of COURSE he's going to give some pathetic pledge (and let's be honest, what HASN'T Abe pledged?). Imagine if he just flat out said, "We want to rebuild the Japanese military and be strong like before!". He'd kind of look like the North Korea he wants to be.

5 ( +8 / -3 )

Hello Fukushima? Did you forget something?

2 ( +5 / -3 )

If only he would be a little more moderate on controversial views, Abe would be judged by history in a much more positive light. Abe's regressive views taint his achievements.

Same goes with the country of Japan. If it could acted more responsibly in foreign relations, I'm sure other neighboring countries like South Korea would be a little more willing to accept a larger defense responsibility and joint operations together.

-3 ( +3 / -6 )

Now I wonder where he got his ideas about secrecy and establishing a "defense" centre?

Careful Abe, your strings are showing!

5 ( +7 / -2 )

Smithinjapan, are you serious? Of course participation in international peacekeeping is beneficial to the defense of a nation. As a developed nation in a global community and a less than stable region, it is Japan's duty to become more involved in international peace keeping initiatives. Only China and some doomsayers in Korea are against Japan altering its constitution. Reality check time for you.

-3 ( +4 / -7 )

SmithinJapan is right. Its clever wording for future endeavors. Not only is there a 3 arrow solution to the economic problem, there is a mulitple arrow (step) to their defense or offense adventures as well.

0 ( +5 / -5 )

Article 9 should be rewritten, but maybe not by LDP.

If the right-wingers would stop visiting Yasukuni shrine and stop all the revisionist nonsense, then both China and Korea would stop complaining.

-1 ( +3 / -4 )

The Japanese people knows what is best for them. If it's not worth the change, it will never happen. On the other hand, if they see a tremendous reason to believe so, they will support the agenda a 120%. And you can't blame them, there are grave reasons to believe so.

I think it is just about time for Japan to embrace the CHANGES and face the current events in full confidence and valor.

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

AkashiAussie: "Smithinjapan, are you serious?"

Quite. If you think this is about participating in overseas operation and not a lame excuse to change the constitution by a man who brags about removing sex-slaves from textbooks, then I pity you. Abe wants to revise the constitution, and this is his lead-in, as I said. When the next bombs fall, don't ask why, please.

4 ( +6 / -2 )

yeah its being done in steps. Next they will want to have access or a garrison at U.S. bases in the U.S. and abroad; after all, the U.S. has been in their backyard for 70 years and are now they are an "equal" partner. Carrier fleet will follow and the genie is out and about.

-3 ( +2 / -5 )

Everyday is not every single consecutive day, but rather normal ordinary day. Japan has been using less than 1% of gnp on defense and it should pump it up to 1.5-2% gradually. There will be more threat from china etc., plus there will be some form of global catastrophe when oil become more scarce.

-2 ( +2 / -4 )

Its not so much about an innocent change to the constitution, then Japan happily agreeing to participate, say like Germany or Poland in a joint operation. The Asian mentality is what mine is mine and whats yours is mine. Everything has to be "fair" Japan will be more of a headache than an asset in any "equal" partnership. It will open up a whole pandoras box of scenaros as well.

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The Asian mentality is what mine is mine and whats yours is mine.

Just China. More reason for Japan to change them.

-4 ( +4 / -8 )

Been in both countries and both are basically the same. Im talking about ethics and society. China is acting like Japan did 50 years ago, its just that Japan has been held back.

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i think japan's problem is not its current constitution, maybe it would be good to look carefully at u'r closest neighbours before u change article 9. changing the constitution can be good because of the presence of the US and its balancing to Asia. but without US presence, i think peace in this region would be more doubtful once the govn't change its position on how its should be able to not only defence but maybe also to attack.

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

Been in both countries and both are basically the same.

Nah. Getting in line in an orderly fashion is the norm in one and exception for the other. The mentality of "what is mine and whats yours in mine" is rooted within the population in the other.

-5 ( +4 / -9 )

Everything that comes out from Shinzo Abe's mouth is crap. Japan, a sinking ship with an incorrigible liar at the helm must surely go under.

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nigelboy: "the only lame excuse I see is your argument to not change them."

The current constitution, particularly article nine, and the atomic bombings Japan suffered put this nation above all others in the world as far as I'm concerned. Imagine, a constitution which demands peace instead of war. You're a Japanophile, but you suggesting it be changed means you are against the safety and morality of the nation. You support a man who not only denies history, but demands textbooks be changed and wants to return to what this lunatic thinks were the 'glory days'.

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I hope Japan will pursue a policy of peace and harmony with its neighbours, but with Abe at the helm i am not convinced. Japan's ability to mend its ties with China and Korea will be of crucial importance for Japans future prospects.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

The current constitution, particularly article nine, and the atomic bombings Japan suffered put this nation above all others in the world as far as I'm concerned. Imagine, a constitution which demands peace instead of war. You're a Japanophile, but you suggesting it be changed means you are against the safety and morality of the nation

If it's such a great "article", why aren't many nations including your own move towards such clause?

You support a man who not only denies history, but demands textbooks be changed and wants to return to what this lunatic thinks were the 'glory days'.

Pick up a book for god sakes smith. His basic philosophy in regards to self defense is to reassert the foundation of U.S.-Japan alliance. Another goal he wants to establish are U.S.-Australia-India-Japan alliance (Democratic Oceania G3 plus one). Only a narrow minded Korea and China uses the revisitation of "glory days" rhetoric.

-5 ( +4 / -9 )

nigelboy: "If it's such a great "article", why aren't many nations including your own move towards such clause?"

Because they would rather sell and make money off of weapons, whereas Japan has a legitimate reason to avoid doing so, and proof of the horrors of war. You seem to want to change that.

"Pick up a book for god sakes smith."

A white-washed Japanese textbook?

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Japan is at a stage of maturity as a nation that it should be required to assist its allies to uphold peace within its region, especially as the budget constraints of its largest ally grow with each passing day. I'm not just referring to the Chinese threats. Japan is not the same nation that went to war in the 30s and 40s. Remember too that history is written by the victors.

http://www.mofa.go.jp/policy/un/pko/pamph2005.html

-3 ( +1 / -4 )

If Article 9 would be rewritten... then Japan would become an actual independent sovereign nation and would not be so dependent on US. I wonder how that would affect the relation with the US.

-2 ( +1 / -3 )

I eat Fukushima rice at the prime minister’s office every day. It’s delicious,” Abe said, urging consumers to do the same and “not to be confused by rumors.

That explains why he's becoming more and more stupid every day, the radiation is getting to his brain I guess ;-).

Remember too that history is written by the victors

Could you please keep this kind of stupidity for yourself, what is this? You think it's here a place to spread your disgusting nationalist speech or what? History is written by and only by the events that occurred in time and space regardless who the "victors" are. Get yourself some education, you are embarrassing yourself.

.

0 ( +3 / -3 )

"If Article 9 would be rewritten... then Japan would become an actual independent sovereign nation and would not be so dependent on US. I wonder how that would affect the relation with the US."

No, what would happen if Japan became a sovereign nation with no U.S. bases is that China would attack without hesitation. The only thing keeping China or North Korea or anybody from bothering Japan are US military in Japan, otherwise its game on. Nobody dare risk attacking any US interest or they face the consequences. So Japan is playing a game now....realigning itself with the U.S. in order to hide behind the shield of security, but bolstering its peoples morale with the lattest need to remilitarize against China. Abe knows this; its why they are extending the US security alliance. Doesnt help Ishiharas position much, because Japan is still a Japan that must say yes to the U.S.

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actually, nigel makes a good point and perhaps I should reconsider my position. This all might just be clever manipulation by Abe. Abe knows that Japan doesnt stand a chance in a war against anybody, so he is realigning with countries in the region, against China. The whole self defense posturing is to gain clout at home and make it look like Japan could defend itself; all the while knowing that without the U.S., Japan would be destroyed. If Japan begins to export arms or help militarize surrounding allies such as the philipines or viet nam, things could get complicated. Revisions to the constitution might make for a more facist Japan, but it doesnt make sense to become more facist while aligning with democracies.

-2 ( +2 / -4 )

actually, nigel makes a good point and perhaps I should reconsider my position. This all might just be clever manipulation by Abe. Abe knows that Japan doesnt stand a chance in a war against anybody, so he is realigning with countries in the region, against China. The whole self defense posturing is to gain clout at home and make it look like Japan could defend itself; all the while knowing that without the U.S., Japan would be destroyed. If Japan begins to export arms or help militarize surrounding allies such as the philipines or viet nam, things could get complicated. Revisions to the constitution might make for a more facist Japan, but it doesnt make sense to become more facist while aligning with democracies.

I wouldn't go far as "doesn't stand a chance" for the current SOFA with U.S. confirmation that Senkaku would be included will basically contain the first island chain so if China is dumb enough to start something, sea lanes will be blocked where China would literally starve. A few thousands PLA personnel dedicated towards the war efforts while the remaining couple million would be too busy controlling their own population from mass riots.

-4 ( +3 / -7 )

No, what would happen if Japan became a sovereign nation with no U.S. bases is that China would attack without hesitation.

America wouldn't or couldn't defend Japan, and China is far from a threat. Yet it will become a self-fulfilling prophecy, because the US thinks so, or WANTS China to be a threat.

-2 ( +2 / -4 )

The changes that Abe is advocating is supported by all of it's allies. The only nations overtly against it are China and North Korea. South Korea on one hand whines about WWII to appease China, but it's military is inching closer to full cooperation with Japan. Other Asian nations have no problem and as the Philippines support indicates, they welcome it as part of the counter to the Chinese threat. How the internet Japan haters feel really doesn't matter. China has achieved what 63 years of U.S pressure has failed to accomplish.

-2 ( +2 / -4 )

OssanAmericaOct. 16, 2013 - 04:57AM JST The changes that Abe is advocating is supported by all of it's allies.

U.S. military posture throughout the world exacerbates tensions rather than improves them. While this is happening U.S. is spending huge amounts of money on its military, and China is likely loving this, because it is harmful to U.S. economy. For sure, U.S. military spending is not sustainable and they are relying more and more on the allies like Japan.

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sfjp330Oct. 16, 2013 - 07:03AM JST "OssanAmericaOct. 16, 2013 - 04:57AM JST The changes that Abe is advocating is supported by all of it's allies. U.S. military posture throughout the world exacerbates tensions rather than improves them. While this is happening >U.S. is spending huge amounts of money on its military, and China is likely loving this, because it is harmful to U.S. >economy. For sure, U.S. military spending is not sustainable and they are relying more and more on the allies like >Japan.

If the U.S, posture "exacerbates tensions" then why is the U.S, presence in Asia welcomed by nearly all Asian countries excluding China and North Korea? How much money the U.S. spends on it's military is only a concern to countries like China who hold an adversarial position to the U.S. in geopolitics. Rest assured, they are not loving it, they are terrified and want to catch up. Relying on allied participation is hardly anything new if you were around to watch Gulf War I.

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@OssanAmerica

U.S. attempts to contain the rise of China is unlikely to succeed because China's steady rise on its soaring economy is a problem that U.S. can do little about. Applying the same containment policy will likely only lead to a hostile relationship between two nations and provide less long-term security for the American people. Abe's government in Japan is making noises about scrapping Japan's pacifist constitution and obtaining offensive weapons, and recent confrontations have occurred between Japanese and Chinese forces near the disputed islands and taunting could easily drag the U.S. into an undesired war with China. Only in the unlikely event that the regional balance of power became so unequal that China threatened to take over the entire region, then U.S. need to step in as a balancer.

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@sfjp330 No one is attempting to contain the "rise" of China, only it's military and territorial expansion agenda. That the Senkakus do not have the Chinese flag flying over them today is evidence of success. And you can rest assured that this "containment" will only increase if China continues on it's current path. Far too many China supporters misunderstand that an economic relationship is one thing and a strategic one is another. As for a "hostile relationship" it already exists. Please don't tell me what America is or is not willing to undertake. As for an "undesired war" no country wants a full scale war, especially China which can not defeat the United States. China has openly declared their intent to become to most powerful strategic power in Asia and it is already unequal. As for Japan they have been forced into the current mode by China's behavior, much to our joy. Collective defense is clearly on the horizon now.

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OssanAmerica,

If the U.S, posture "exacerbates tensions" then why is the U.S, presence in Asia welcomed by nearly all Asian countries excluding China and North Korea?

Sfjp330 is right. US policy is to exacerbate tensions. That's what they do. Build up the tensions, get a war started or just invade, with or without cause. That's what they did in the Middle East and it's still going on.

As for Asian countries welcoming the U.S.A., I think you need to take a more realistic look. Whereas there other people in Asian countries who welcome the U.S.A., there are many who don't.

China would certainly welcome the U.S.A. if the U.S.A. concentrated on trade more than heavy muscle. It's a bit difficult to welcome someone who stands outside your house bristling with weapons of mass destruction.

After all, a large percentage of US citizens are Chinese (3.5 million in 2010). And, while they hold American passports, they do consider themselves Chinese and keep a connection with relatives in China.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

"U.S. military posture throughout the world exacerbates tensions rather than improves them. While this is happening U.S. is spending huge amounts of money on its military, and China is likely loving this, because it is harmful to U.S. economy. For sure, U.S. military spending is not sustainable and they are relying more and more on the allies like Japan"

I think most Americans would like to see Asians deal with their own problems, stablize the region themselves and be done with all the bases in Japan and Korea. There is another minority voice that thinks Japan and bases throughout Asia are hard fought and won territory and should not be let go. How long the U.S. can be spread out across the world is anybodys guess, but in the case of Japan, as many writers have suggested, its up to Japan to create its destiny. The problem now is that after years of being babysited, Japan seems unprepared to lead. It looks like Abe is breaking ranks from them and engaging the world, perhaps this is a positive trend. Continued isolation cannot be in Japans best interest, neither can the nostalgic role of a superior leader for Asia. I think Japans interest in its own survival while becoming more international is key to becoming a real soveriegn nation. There are many who suggest, naively, that its time for Japan to have its own military and make its own way. They are unaware of the internal whitewashing and nationalism that is still very strong in Japan. Japan needs to break from its past, and convience the rest of the world it wont be pushed around, but is done with imperialism.

-1 ( +2 / -3 )

What did he say about TPP? Is he going to restart Nuke energy plants? How come I do not see them in his speech?

0 ( +0 / -0 )

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