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Abe says restoration of sovereignty day signals hope, pride

55 Comments
By Stanley White

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Abe has made clear that he wants to eventually revise Article 9 of the 1947 constitution to set down Japan's right to maintain a military for self-defense.

If China keeps provoking Japan, this will eventually become a reality.

4 ( +11 / -6 )

If China keeps provoking Japan, this will eventually become a reality.

provided final endorsement comes from the USA !

1 ( +7 / -6 )

@some14some They have had it for a long time now.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

Hope and pride? I think right-wing imperialism would be more appropriate.

9 ( +18 / -9 )

His Liberal Democratic Party (LDP) pledged during the campaign to make April 28 “Restoration of Sovereignty Day”,

Want to make me remember RSD day? Make it an official holiday and stick it in Golden Week, and no one will forget it, they'll love you even more!

Oh but please, make sure to add the clause that if the day falls on a Saturday, you get the Friday before off too! (That will really make people happy!)

1 ( +3 / -2 )

If China keeps provoking Japan, this will eventually become a reality.

Folks it's a hell of a lot harder that everyone thinks to change the constitution here, it's not a given, and even members within the LDP and the ruling coalition are leery about changing it.

4 ( +6 / -2 )

Why do they need to change the constitution at all? Under the current constitution they can use whatever force necessary to protect Japan and its people. The only reason they would need to change the constitution is so they can attack other countries. This was the whole point of setting up the constitution this way in the first place.Does Abe and his cronies want to attack China? North Korea? South Korea? There is no need for them to change the constitution other than the right-wing goons want to start another war in Asia.

1 ( +11 / -10 )

You know those visits to Yasukuni shouldn't only "offends neighbouring countries" considering "it also honors Japanese war criminals." Everyone in the world should be offended. It would be like German leaders going to honour Nazi graves, not only the countries that were invaded by the Nazis would protest, but so would many others because they're "war criminals", as in, people who committed horrific crimes against humanity.

-2 ( +7 / -10 )

Why do they need to change the constitution at all? Under the current constitution they can use whatever force necessary to protect Japan and its people. The only reason they would need to change the constitution is so they can attack other countries.

Actually there is one HUGE thing that is not provided for under the current constitution and something that was unlooked for when it was first written.

Currently if Japan got into a conflict with another nation, and the US came to it's aid, by the current constitution the JIETAI could not come to the assistance of the US Military if there ever came a situation that they were needed. They would have to stand by and do nothing. THAT is major. Even the US wants Japan to change the current constitution to cover that in case anything happens.

Imagine a case where let's say a Chinese navy ship attacked a US ship, damaged it and it was floating in the water, a Japanese SDF ship could do nothing to assist the US vessel in repelling the Chinese ship from further attack. It isnt a case where they (Japan) would be defending itself, it would be offensive in nature, which is against the constitution.THAT needs to be changed, but to do so, Article 9 has to be amended.

2 ( +6 / -4 )

You know those visits to Yasukuni shouldn't only "offends neighbouring countries" considering "it also honors Japanese war criminals." Everyone in the world should be offended. It would be like German leaders going to honour Nazi graves, not only the countries that were invaded by the Nazis would protest, but so would many others because they're "war criminals", as in, people who committed horrific crimes against humanity.

Except the visits are nothing like visiting Nazi war criminal graves. The dishonesty of that comparison is outstanding. It's like saying that visiting Arlington honors war criminals.

0 ( +6 / -5 )

There was a demonstration in Okinawa today to protest this "celebration."

On April 28th 1952 the San Francisco Peace Treaty took effect, formally ending World War II and the Allied Occupation and the Showa Emperor gave Okinawa to the U.S.A. to do with as they wanted.

What's to celebrate?

Okinawa was under American occupation until 1972.

I don't know whether he is doing it deliberately or not, but Abe is doing his best to alienate Okinawans. The anti-Yamato (Honshu) sentiment worse than I've ever known it.

5 ( +9 / -4 )

and the Showa Emperor gave Okinawa to the U.S.A. to do with as they wanted.

No, he didn't, not at all, get your facts correct, Showa Tenno had no say in what the US or where the US choose to occupy or keep in Japan.

I don't know whether he is doing it deliberately or not, but Abe is doing his best to alienate Okinawans. The anti-Yamato (Honshu) sentiment worse than I've ever known it.

Again, WRONG, it's not against people from mainland, it's against the Abe government, a huge difference that you conveniently have chosen to overlook.

-1 ( +4 / -5 )

On April 28th 1952 the San Francisco Peace Treaty took effect, formally ending World War II and the Allied Occupation and the Showa Emperor gave Okinawa to the U.S.A. to do with as they wanted.

Well, doesn't America get some of the blame for insisting on keeping Okinawa for another 20 years?

Actually there is one HUGE thing that is not provided for under the current constitution and something that was unlooked for when it was first written.

That's because when it was written, even the Japanese were (for the moment) not into them having a military at all. So obviously "collective self-defence" won't be considered.

Nevertheless, if you accept the variant that Japan may use force to defend itself under the present Constitution, there is nothing to prevent it from including collective self-defense. The current official government differentiation is just BS so the Japanese do not have to get involved in American military adventures. As we all know, the Americans were willing to play ball with minimal complaint during the Cold War, after that, this policy costs Japan more and more.

Unfortunately, having granted this interpretation official status, it is difficult to change it again and again and still retain any credibility. Thus the need for an amendment.

0 ( +3 / -3 )

BertieWooster: I hate to tell you this, but relations with the US are only getting closer, and military ties in particular. They're never going to leave Okinawa. Even your governor belongs to the current party getting cozy with the US. I bet you nearly ALL of the people in the demonstration you talk about voted LDP.

1 ( +6 / -5 )

Before we officially recognise April 28 as Restoration of Sovereignty Day, can we remember that the day after, April 29th (Showa Day), glorifies the Emperor who led Japan into the war that resulted in its loss of sovereignty? Couldn't these two cancel each other out? Or would that merely mean a worse "Golden Week", and, therefore, be "politically" important?

2 ( +4 / -2 )

It's easy to see that this is part of an insidious plot to extend Golden Week from April 15 to May 15, through the continuous addition of holidays for obscure dates that practically nobody living can even remember.

Lol! But really now, insidious? More like another reason to kick start the economy by having folks travel around the country in hordes, spending their money, and remembering things that very well should be left to history books in school.

Alas that is another story....

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Yubaru: "More like another reason to kick start the economy by having folks travel around the country in hordes, spending their money, and remembering things that very well should be left to history books in school."

Agreed... save they're likely omitted by Abe himself.

2 ( +4 / -2 )

The Okinawa Times and Ryukyu Asahi Broadcasting conducted a poll recently in Okinawa about this event. The results show that 70 percent did not support the ceremony and 59.6 percent stated that officials of the Okinawa prefectural government should not attend. Governor of Okinawa, Nakaima did not attend the ceremony.

53.9 percent of those who were against the ceremony described April 28, 1952 as a "day of humiliation" for Okinawa and 39.7 percent said that Okinawa's sovereignty still has not been restored as some 20 percent of the land area of Okinawa Island is occupied by U.S. armed forces.

Mr. Abe should realize that the ceremony rubs many Okinawans the wrong way.

http://www.japantimes.co.jp/opinion/2013/04/28/editorials/ceremony-an-affront-to-okinawans/#.UX0TviWCVGI

2 ( +5 / -3 )

Mr. Abe should realize that the ceremony rubs many Okinawans the wrong way.

He knows it, and he added comments about Okinawa, in the presence of the Emperor, and the burden they carry in his speech.

His goals however are not limited to 126/1 of the population of Japan. He is the leader of a country not just one small prefecture that adds little to the overall economy of the country, yet causes an inordinate amount of trouble politically.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

Have a look at the picture of the "celebration".

http://www.hani.co.kr/arti/international/japan/584924.html?_ns=t1

It looks straight out of 1930 Japan where the "emperor" is hailed as a living human god.

It's obvious Japan desperately wants to turn the clock back, way back.

-3 ( +6 / -9 )

chucky3176Apr. 28, 2013 - 10:02PM JST

Have a look at the picture of the "celebration".

That is a horrendous picture and the only good part, from watching the news tonight, was that Akihito looked embarrassed by the whole fiasco.

America sure did a bad job at 'de-nazification' in Japan. Luckily the Europeans sorted the German nonsense out once and for all.

Let's hope China does a better job, next time around, because this nonsense has to be stopped sometime.

-2 ( +3 / -5 )

Let's hope China does a better job, next time around, because this nonsense has to be stopped sometime.

Let's hope someone puts a cork in it!

1 ( +2 / -1 )

It looks straight out of 1930 Japan where the "emperor" is hailed as a living human god.

And what doesn't remind you of that? Came here because you haven't seen enough downvotes under your avatar?

0 ( +3 / -2 )

Observing from the latest developments & the tactics employed by the PM Abe,' hope' seems not taken for granted -- only 'hope' is he could stay longer than his predecessors in office by stirring nationalistic sentiments albeit by paying an expensive price of self-isolation in Asia. 'Pride' ? I do not think this is something missing in Japan in the past 140 years since the Meiji era ? Unless he referred to extreme form of 'pride' advocated by the warlords before the WWII ? All in all, the PM Abe's tactics since half a year appeared to be rather successful to keep high scores on opinion polls... But after the provocative tactics, concrete bread & butter issues will have to dealt with before people getting tired of the empty words ?

1 ( +2 / -1 )

Yubaru,

one small prefecture that adds little to the overall economy of the country, yet causes an inordinate amount of trouble politically

Ever thought why this is?

This tiny prefecture, the "string of islands in the middle of the ocean" has the largest US facilities in the whole country. Okinawans do not like this. Are they supposed to admit defeat and accept anything that's thrown at them because of their size?

If there were an act of military aggression against Japan, it is likely that Okinawa would be the first place to hit, simply because it does contain all those US troops and military hardware. Okinawans and people on the mainland both know this. When it was suggested that some of these troops be located to another part of Japan, there were soon reams of signatures and the plan was aborted.

And they don't want the US troops using up 20% of their land because they want to develop it. They are losing big money by having to give up their land to the US.

All Okinawans want is to have peace and to have control over their own land.

A not unreasonable request.

1 ( +3 / -2 )

We knew the emperor was just a puppet figure even after Japan was defeated. Tennou wa Nihon-no Shouchou-desu. We children used ductionary to learn Shouchou is symbol. However, schools had to hash children's comment, then, Not all Japanese hailed he is a human god, Jin-shin> no, what is the word for human god in Japanese?

1 ( +1 / -0 )

If China keeps provoking Japan, this will eventually become a reality.

It's more like Japan provokes China so that China will provoke Japan so that they can say to their people, look, there's danger out there. There's no time to think about our economy because we need to unite and boost our military.

Every country does it, but with the attempt to revise their WW2 history, I fear that that is walking in Hitler's footsteps which is what he did with Germany's WW1 history.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

Why not just cancel the Security Treaty since Japan want to be 'free and clear'? Then redo the whole thing, ask Okinawans if they want US to be around, ask US if she want to redo a security arrangement with Japan. It's like negotiating with a 'new' country! US might just say yes, but on a very restrictive sets of conditions.

0 ( +4 / -4 )

If anyone wanted to see why Okinawa people are not too happy about this celebration, please check Ok.inawa related article of "Occupationof Japan" in WikiPedia. Textbook or not, I am sure yougner generation heard terrible life of Okinawa people from their grandparents. Also, Emperor was Shouchou and children knew Shou id a shape.. Chou is symbol. So, children knew emperor could not be like advertisement symbol of stores. We knew he is not a statue but a person.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

The mentality in Japan now is very similar to German after World War One, beaten, lost the war but not totally destroyed.

Have you read the entire Abe's speech he did yesterday? He took a look back how Japan looked when the San Francisco treaty was signed and all they had was a song and hope for a brighter future as the country was nothing more than 'mountains and rivers' with people starving everywhere.

My prediction, someone similar to Hitler will rise in Japan, and create another havoc similar, if not more horrible than Hitler.

Interesting. Based on?

USA failed to put out the last spark of imperialism in Japan, and now that spark has grown to raging fire.

lol, where do you see that? In China trying to build their own aircraft carriers?

-4 ( +2 / -6 )

My prediction, someone similar to Hitler will rise in Japan, and create another havoc similar, if not more horrible than Hitler.

Ever hear of Hashimoto Toru?

1 ( +2 / -1 )

I am left to wonder when Abe will suggest going back to worship of the emperor.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

Part of the problem is the date of celebration and what it means. What if it were a different date, say November 29, which is the date of the first convention of the Diet in 1890? Now, that date has its own problem, since it was the Imperial Diet, but it was also the date of effect for of the first national constitution in Japan, so in a sense it marks the first day of modern, national sovereignty.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

**As we know that far left or right politicos in any country tend to get everyone in trouble when they have total control. This is how the war criminals were allowed to function in the first place. History shows us that these nut jobs can lead us down a path of extreme pain in the long run....Beware is my advice

2 ( +2 / -0 )

we just need 10 years so we can arm ourselves. after that, the united states can go out

0 ( +2 / -2 )

Japan must stand strong and proud. It has nothing to appologize for now or then. Every nation makes decisions based on the reality of the time, and China, Korea and the United States have all been aggresive and started conflicts themselves both externall and internally in the past, but hopefully we are all past that now. I am glad that Abe is being strong.

-3 ( +1 / -4 )

Japan has every right to restore their national pride and self-esteem.

-2 ( +1 / -3 )

I hope Japan does fully rearm. US get out of Okinawa. I want to see Japan strong and aggressive in all it does. I can only begin to imagine the technology Japan has stashed away. Cut the apron strings with Washington so the land of the rising sun will rise again.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Abe also wants to make substantial changes to the Japanese constitution that are far more worrying than changing article 9. He wants to remove many of the personal freedoms and protections it currently affords Japanese citizens on the basis that it is unJapanese and too American (as if Japanese prime don't deserve the sane freedoms as Americans!?).

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Japanese constitution was created in Meiji Government era by Japanese people. At that time Abe's area people were government officials. Hirobumi Itou, Kouin Kido, etc. There is nothing unJapanese (whatever this new vocabrary means) in that constitution, Japanese people created Japanese constitution. What is unJa[anese when Japanese constitution was created by Japanese?

-3 ( +0 / -3 )

Japanese constitution was created in Meiji Government era by Japanese people. At that time Abe's area people were government officials. Hirobumi Itou, Kouin Kido, etc. There is nothing unJapanese (whatever this new vocabrary means) in that constitution, Japanese people created Japanese constitution. What is unJa[anese when Japanese constitution was created by Japanese?

If you are Japanese like your name alludes I can not believe that you dont know your history, at least about the constitution in it's current form.

The constitution used today was written in 1946 and drafted by non-Japanese, two Army officers with law degrees, Milo Rowell and Courtney Whitney although others influenced and had their say,including the section about equality between the sexes that was reported to have been written by one Beate Sirota.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

Yubaru,

If you read through the rest of the Wikipedia article you got your information about M. Rowell, C. Whitney and B. Sirota, you will find that there is quite a bit more to it than the work of these two.

There is also a very interesting entry on Beate Sirota, an Austrian-born American performing arts presenter and women's rights advocate who was educated in Japan, spoke fluent Japanese and had a good understanding of the Japanese culture.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

"I want to make this a day( April 28th) when we renew our sense of hope and determination for the future" by Abe

Sound like Abe have forgotten the Okinawans in this insensitive statement. Aren't Okinawa part of Japan.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

If you read through the rest of the Wikipedia article you got your information

Don't assume things Bertie. I didnt get that from wiki.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Redcliff,

Sound like Abe have forgotten the Okinawans in this insensitive statement.

Sounds like it, doesn't it?

Maybe he would like to forget it.

Aren't Okinawa part of Japan.

Yes and no.

On paper they are, of course.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Aren't Okinawa part of Japan.Yes and no.

Are you delusional?

0 ( +0 / -0 )

They're becoming more far right and animalistic again... Their constitution shouldn't be allowed to change. China shouldn't be used as an excuse for fascism.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

About Showa Tennou, After WW II was over, some freedom of media came out. Until that, we never heard Emperor's opinions or Imperial business. I read on Bungei shunju special edition that Showa Tennou said, "After I became Tennou, every day I felt onas if I was thin ice." "Kurai ni tsuita toki kara mainichi ga usui coori ni notte ita omoi datta". I read on other magazines after his death )in magazines; special editions of 50 years after 1945.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

I majored in 'Bungaku=bu' in a female college in Japan and never was a historian. I learned English by books. I became a linguist but never became historian. Abe's root is Yamaguchi Prefecture where people do not have a big mouth except a few who moved to USA. So, I don't think he told any plan of constitutional change if he has any, I

0 ( +0 / -0 )

When we learned constitution was amended to include 'no more wars', we celebrated.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Gov. Nakaima and people in Okinawa wants to transfer the problem of US military bases elsewhere, specifically from Okinawa to the rest of Japan or elsewhere. There is a problem of Okinawans living in Okinawa that are continously discriminated by rest of Japan. Even though it is the Japanese government that desires U.S. military bases, there is not a single example anywhere in Japan where residential areas are burdened by bases and civilians live adjacent to shooting range and runways as there is in Okinawa. If the J-government desires the US-Japan Security Treaty along with the stationing of the U.S. military, that is fine. If the purpose of the U.S.-Japan Security Treaty is to protect the peace of all Japanese nationals, then it is only natural that this is recognized by having the burden of the Treaty shared by the entire people of Japan. Every Japanese person, whether of a rightist or leftist beliefs shares the same benefits that result from forcing U.S. military bases onto Okinawans. Are these people in Honshu not guilty when they oppose relocation of U.S. military bases to Japan, thereby protecting their own interests?

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Residents of Okinawa held a counter-rally describing the commemoration as a day of “humiliation” for Okinawa and not a true return of sovereignty to Japan.

Entirely true! Okinawa has never proud of being part of Japan. It is an Insult of treating them as losers without any respect.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

sfjp330,

Thank you for an excellent post.

I just hope that people living on the mainland of Japan get this information. They know almost nothing of the actual situation. It was all over the news that the Henoko problem is solved as they will build a new superbase in Henoko.

It certainly isn't.

For Abe and the government of Tokyo - sorry - government of Japan , Okinawa is expendable. Whatever they do here isn't going to affect their votes. They seem to think by building an expressway that Okinawans are going to be happy :)

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Next Abe will re-establish the Empirial Army, invade its neighbours again.... All the while we are comdeming China as provokative.... does not make any sense. Okinawa should vote for independence and join China that might solve the problem since before Japan took Okinawa by force many years ago, it use to be closely tied with China. Everything there historically was writen in Chinese.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

I think Abe knows Japanese people is not going to worship Emperor as God. Abe knows Japan is more technologically oriented nation. Nationalism? I don't think current Japanese people are interested. Like in USA. they are more familiar with iPad, iPhone, etc. I don't live in Japan. So, this is my guess.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

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