politics

Abe to pitch security policy change to divided voters

16 Comments
By Linda Sieg and Nobuhiro Kubo

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16 Comments
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I'm a grown man and I've listened to my father tell me the misery in which Japan was left after the defeat in World War II. If what Abe promotes is bringing back those times in which we thought we were World Police, then I'm voting against. If this is to boost Japan's sense of nationalism, and patriotism amongst the youth, then I'll support the measure.

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would draw criticism from China, ties with which have been damaged by a territorial row and the legacy of Japan’s past aggression.

Well, of course it would draw criticism from China. They don't want countries to actually stand up against them.

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Hokkaidoboy, nothing that Abe is promoting is going to bring back The Great Japanese Empire, a Minister of the Army and Minister of the Navy in the cabinet, worship of the Emperor as a God, a fascist regime with tight censorship and media control, or an invasion of foreign countries for territorial gain. What Abe is promoting is a necessity, not just for Japan but for many regional nations and other allied nations in order to maintain peace and aggressor nations in check.

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“The prime minister wants to act while his support rates are high and politics stable,”

It shows absolutely astonishing shortsightedness that Abe has been wasting his political assets and peace dividend on those kind of rubbishes from nitty gritty scenario of ““collective self-defense” to pilgrimages to Yasukuni Shrine visit rather leading the country to tackle sink-or-swim issues: Japan's ever-dwindling birth rate and crashing national debts.

Please don’t get me wrong, collective self-defense is important, and it would be great if Japan’s SDF can help American warships when they are attacked by enemy. However, when Japan’s national birthrate is dropping like a stone from a cliff, what would be the point for having collective self-defense when Japan won’ t even have enough young people to join the army in next 30-50 years?

It is possible that Abe and co, are deliberately trying to use those feel-good nationalistic agenda to divert public attentions from the urgent issues that may make Japan truly defenseless in 50 years. It’s a shame that Japan is lack of leaders that can lead Japan out of descending slope in 21st century.

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EthanWilberMay. 15, 2014 - 08:22AM JST It shows absolutely astonishing shortsightedness that Abe has been wasting his political assets and peace dividend on those kind of rubbishes from nitty gritty scenario of ““collective self-defense” to pilgrimages to Yasukuni Shrine visit rather leading the country to tackle sink-or-swim issues: Japan's ever-dwindling birth rate and crashing national debts.

But those issues are unpopular because they are not easy to fix and would involve hugely controversial moves like opening up to more immigration, actually enforcing Japanese labour laws, and facing up to Japan's huge monopolies... naah, its much easier for a politician to drum up support for something like going to war, because its a simplistic solution to the very complex problem of China that the average brain dead voter can wrap their head around.

The problem here isn't China, or collective self-defence, the problem is a lack of political will to tackle difficult issues. If S.E. Asian countries can't co-operate on something as simple as economic sanctions against China then they'll never be able to co-operate on something infinitely more difficult, going to war.

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This is bordering on nationalistic propaganda and outright delusional. Japan has no militarist ability to defend anyone from China, let alone itself.

Japanese politicians need to stop focusing on China and WW2 history and start worrying about the real problems like the impending demographic collapse, the stagnant economy, shrinking labor force and the looming pension/healthcare crisis.

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@Frungy But those issues are unpopular because they are not easy to fix and would involve hugely controversial moves like opening up to more immigration, actually enforcing Japanese labour laws, and facing up to Japan's huge monopolies... naah, its much easier for a politician to drum up support for something like going to war, because its a simplistic solution to the very complex problem of China that the average brain dead voter can wrap their head around.

You are right on the mark. Apparently, Japanese politicians are unwilling and unable to lead a great country forward, instead they spent most of their time to keep talking about external threats coming from Russia and China, yet squander the window of opportunities to fix the thorny and urgent problems that will affect Japan’s future right at home.

You know, here is a sense of irony: many Japanese hail Abe as a strong and visionary leader since dawn of mankind, yet this guy practically seems being a coward who are afraid to face the internal challenges of the Japan.

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The problem here isn't China, or collective self-defence, the problem is a lack of political will to tackle difficult issues.

what?! the issue of collective self-defense is rooted in the threat that china poses. both economically and militarily, in the region. so many people complain that japan is just a puppet for america. but when japan wants to break free of this image, people then complain that japan is being hawkish and will bring back the days of "imperial japan." it's foolish for japan not to be able to defend its interests in far away locales. the time has come for japan to join the international table.

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Discussions about changing Article 9 MAY BE acceptable , IF the government was democratic and respected the will of the people - but Japan is not a democracy in which "the people" can control. This is the problem with any changes to Article 9. It is just too early to change anything in Article 9 until the government process becomes more accountable to the peoples wishes.

There are examples daily of the government officials thinking they are the "holy grail" and given the power to decide what is best for the country without seriously considering any debate. It is still very dangerous and can lead to war. Better wait until the people can control the Prime Minister as in other truly democratic countries. Elected officials in democratic countries work for "the people" . The public is "the BOSS" Way to soon do make any changes to Article 9

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Abe has been wasting his political assets and peace dividend on those kind of rubbishes from nitty gritty scenario of ““collective self-defense” to pilgrimages to Yasukuni Shrine visit rather leading the country to tackle sink-or-swim issues: Japan's ever-dwindling birth rate and crashing national debts.

Ridiculous. There is no more pressing issue facing Japan than the grotesque behemoth hovering off their western shores. Mr Abe needs to be working hard to ensure that Japan is so well defended that PRC isn't even entertaining the idea of trying to grab up Japanese territory. Amending the constitution to rid the nation of the antiquated Article 9 is pretty much necessary at this point. We can all thank the communists for creating the climate in which this move has become necessary. And that's to say nothing of their puppet state DPRK who may unilaterally act out at any moment.

Second Mr Abe needs to be doing everything possible to encourage Japanese companies to begin pulling out of PRC in favor of more worthy trading/business partners.

As for Yasukuni ... Mr Abe "wasted" no political capital on that issue. He paid a thirty minute visit to a shrine and can hardly be blamed if the PRC and their puppets chose to fashion their foreign policy around such an insignificant nonevent.

I find your comments about the shrinking population particularly off the mark. Japan is a free country (unlike some I could mention) where citizens have the right to procreate as they see fit. Obviously the shrinking population is a matter of concern, but what would you have Mr Abe do? Maybe you want him to take a page out of the Pope's book and go on a rant against condoms and birth control? In a truly free country there is very little the government can do to increase the birth rate.

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The facts as I see it:

1) There is a strategy known as "Divide and conquer", and Japan's constitution means that Japan and it's allies such as the Philippines are vulnerable to it.

2) China's government is pursuing such a strategy.

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I think China moving the oil drilling rig into Vietnamese waters speaks for its self. This is a shift in Chinese policy and not to be waved off like a pesky fly.

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Well... if China attacks the Philippines or Viet Nam, etc., Japan should not join to the conflict to defend.

Japan should go there and be part of the persuasion force, so China desist in its actions. That is why the security policy should be reviewed.

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but would draw criticism from China, ties with which have been damaged by a territorial row and the legacy of Japan’s past aggression.

territorial row ok.....

legacy of Japan's past aggression......more like the legacy of the media over the past decade or so beating a dead horse and Japanese media playing follow the leader.

Until both sides quite playing infant games with each other nothing is going to change.

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In the ideal world of regional peace in Asia is when both the DPRK and RPC are promoted into sainthood, and at peace with themselves and neighbors. I am positive and think that could be happening in the future, but right now it doesn't look all that possible.

No doubt, a lifting of the ban on 'collective self-defense' by Japan will been seen as a maturity, and the willingness to take on a more responsible leadership role for peace keeping in Asia.

Foster a stronger regional security ties with technology assistance to strengthen the alliance defence capability would be enough to deter any invasion from rogue countries. No need for Japan to send its military to defend any alliance members in that case.

-2 ( +1 / -3 )

Abe and the men behind him are taking advantage of the times we live in. The current US administration has given him the go ahead with the constitution revision. Several years ago this was a taboo subject.

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

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