politics

Abe wants freer rein for military

33 Comments
By ERIC TALMADGE

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33 Comments
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A lot of speculation and miss interpretation of article 9 I believe. At the moment Japan cannot participate in "Collective Defence" but the opening part about a missile fired from NK un-announced heading towards Hawaii would probably be shot down by Japan since it could be considered as a direct threat towards Japan since it will fly right over Japanese air space.

Japan will also require to re-negotiate the structure of the Japanese-US alliance since with the present alliance Japan would require to participate in any and all war US goes into which may go against Japanese national interest like Iran.

At the end Japan will require to search for a balance between alliance and own national interest so it will not be dragged into any and every conflict that occurs on this planet.

On a different note Japan requires to regain the right to retaliate when a foreign nation attacks which is not possible with present constitution.

4 ( +5 / -1 )

On a different note Japan requires to regain the right to retaliate when a foreign nation attacks which is not possible with present constitution.

... will remain impossible, USA will not agree to handover "remocon" to Nippon.

1 ( +3 / -2 )

He's got some points that are valid, BUT this needs to have more open public debate and not be decided by the politicians alone.

Public discussion first, then decide.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

SamuraiBlue

Define "retaliate" in your case.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

WARNING!

The thin end of the wedge!

0 ( +2 / -2 )

tokyo-star

If a hostile nation has intention of striking second rounds at Japan, Japan should have the right to fire at the military installations before the hositle nation strikes again to minimize damage.

With present constitution Japan cannot retaliate at hostile site out side Japan's borders.

7 ( +8 / -1 )

Long overdue for change to the constitution, IMO.

0 ( +4 / -4 )

This article starts with word IMAGINE. What about, we imagine that we will have peace and diplomacy. Or imagine that conflict will happen and Japanese politics act like after 3/11. We can imagine many things. If war starts there will be no rules. Lets hope that JT scenario will never happen.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

We should stand tall in the international community...These are good, well-trained conventional forces, he said. We are second to none in Asia.

Why is that something to be proud of you silly little man? Waving willies in the school toilet, never gets beyond that.

0 ( +3 / -3 )

Amendment of article 9 could easily be done like this;

ARTICLE 9. Aspiring sincerely to an international peace based on justice and order, the Japanese people forever renounce first strike on another nation as a sovereign right of the nation and the threat or use of force as means of settling international disputes beyond self defense. The right of belligerency beyond the right of self defense of the state will not be recognized.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

We should start playing a larger and more responsible in international security affairs.

Really? What makes him think the rest of the world has forgotten what Japan was up to in the first half of last century? Sadly, nobody has forgotten what happened last time Japan played soldier with the big boys. Therefor, they should go and play in the sandpit with the little kids. Having japan bolster their military choices would only create further tension in Asia and with the likes of Ishihara and Hashimoto pulling Abe's strings it would only be a matter of months before there would be military confrontations. Abe should be more concerned about rebuilding the economy and getting the people of Tohoku back into real housing and rebuilding their infrastructure instead of swinging his chinchin with a US flag tied around it..

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Things change. Today is not 1930s. True, Japan has jingoistic, ultra-conservative, militaristic, ethnocentric nuts--every country and culture does. They are not the norm. Stop thinking that all Japanese want to go do bad things. The post WW2 constitution served its purpose. Time for a new generation to amend it.

2 ( +4 / -2 )

@SamuraiBlue Won't work. By the time a US aimed missile flies over Japan (if it would at all), it would actually be in space, which is not considered part of anyone's airspace. So you can't justify shooting it down in self defense.

Further, the present treaty would require an attack on Japan or the United States, and it doesn't even mandate a military response (which is one concern on the Japanese side about AMERICAN willingness to bail them out). So if America wants to attack Iran, Japan is not obligated by treaty to help (though it might be a little harder to avoid sending something without article 9 as a shield).

@Disillusioned While I won't deny some rise out of the Asian countries, not just the so-called "Special Asia", it won't be very long and quite frankly Japan should not have let this fear hold them back. In fact, the mistake was that they should have done this around 1990, when no Asian country can really do very much, then by now they would see it is harmless and sit back down.

I don't deny the importance of the economy and rebuilding Tohoku, but Defense is a government's first service to its people, and the service least-substitutable by private companies. It should not be left as a "by-the-way".

@SamuraiBlue Potentially a bit too restrictive and plenty of problems about defining "self-defense" (half of the US excuse over invading Iraq was "self-defense", w/ the other half being about bending UN resolutions). How about

[Peace BS], the Japanese people renounce the threat or use of force to COMPLETE the resolution of international disputes.

or

[Peace BS], the Japanese people pledge that Japan's threat or use of force will be limited to that insufficient to complete the resolution of international disputes.

(forget the "forever", it should never have been there in the 1st place and since the Constitution has been changed already it is a complete joke to keep it)

Note that I did not restrict Japan from first striking (which may become necessary), or even to self-defense (which can range from being overly restrictive to being a meaningless distinction).

The big deterrent to a potential Tojo is the removal of the ability to COMPLETE the resolution. In brutally oversimplified form, Japan can initiate wars but it is not allowed to win, not militarily anyway.

While it is thinkable someone would voluntarily (or semi-voluntarily) declare a war with a slim chance of victory (certainly Imperial Japan did to the US, and the wars with Russia and China were risky enough), they won't if the chance of victory is zero (and it would be, if they follow the Constitution, and if they don't what is written on it hardly matters).

This will effectively ensure wars are self-defense, without actually using the term.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Do you want to renounce article 9? That is fine. But be ready to commit troops to an active role during coalition operations. It is not like like Japan can have both a military alliance while renouncing article 9 and yet not support military operations with troops in a combat environment.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

Michishita-san is quoted in the article above as saying:

"These are good, well-trained conventional forces," he said. "We are second to none in Asia."

If this is true, it's just because the other forces in Asia are so p**s poor.

In any case, what of it?

If you put a lot of energy into working toward peace, I believe that a peaceful state can be achieved.

But it's a curious thing that if you put all your energy into avoiding conflict, you'll most likely get it. By trying to avoid it, you've kind of admitted defeat.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

tokyo-starDec. 23, 2012 - 05:09PM JST SamuraiBlue Define "retaliate" in your case.

The ability to retaliate has a far greater value as a deterrent to being attacked in the first place than actually retaliating.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

This article skips some seriously significant facts;

"Japan’s military is kept on a very short leash under a war-renouncing constitution written by U.S. officials whose main concern was keeping Japan from rearming soon after World War II. But if Japan’s soon-to-be Prime Minister Shinzo Abe has his way, the status quo may be in for some change."

Even though the allied powers imposed Article 9 on Japan in n1945 by 1950 the U.S. already regretted this and forced Japan to create a military, as an extention of the national police force to bypass the constitutional restraints. This became the Japan Self Defense Force. All throughout the cold war the U.S. has continued to press Japan to revise it's constitution but they have refused,. In the 1980s President Reagan asked PM Zenko Suzuki for Japan to help defend Guam, and was refused. The lack of Collective Defense has kept the US-Japan alliance lopsided for decades, mostly as the Japanese never really felt threatened by anyone. A big Xie Xie goes out on this one.

"While welcome in Washington, which is looking to keep its own costs down while beefing up its Pacific alliances to counterbalance the rise of China, Abe’s ideas are raising eyebrows in a region that vividly remembers Japan’s brutal rampage across Asia 70 years ago."

That;s only China who is currently threatening all of Asia with it's military and territorial expansion agenda and benefits by constantly harping on 780 year old history. Basically a thief consatantly poiting fingers at a retired thief of 70 years ago, while stealing right now. "The Philippines would strongly support Japan dropping its pacifist constitution to become a fully-fledged military force, said a government spokesperson." http://au.ibtimes.com/articles/416555/20121219/philippines-supports-re-arming-japan-contain-china.htm#.UNcfSpAo6ic As for South Korea, they're anti-rants won't last 15 seconds after North Korea hits them.

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

Not having to spend huge ammounts of money on defence certainly helps a countries economy . You only have to look at Germany to see that . Both Japan and Germany hide behind the history of WW2 . The world has changed and they should both stand up to their responsibilities ! Forget this " Self Defence " nonsence . Lets see a returns of the Imperial Japanese Army and Navy ! It would certainly upset the Koreans and Chinese but that is no bad thing !

0 ( +2 / -2 )

America needs a stronger Japan that can help to promote stability in the region. If any missile flies over China, Korea(s), Australia,...they can shoot it down; and why not Japan? This is a weakest link for bully nation(s) taking advantage of Japan. A stronger Japan is a basic necessity for her survival, and by no means repeating her past aggressiveness. The world knows who is the aggressor and bully nation at the present time, what a shame!

2 ( +2 / -0 )

DisillusionedDec. 23, 2012 - 10:07PM JST "We should start playing a larger and more responsible in international security affairs." Really? What makes him think the rest of the world has forgotten what Japan was up to in the first half of last century? >Sadly, nobody has forgotten what happened last time Japan played soldier with the big boys.

Nobody has forgotten. But nobody still thinks Japan is the same militant Empire that was destroyed 70 years ago. Everybody is aware that China is biggest threat to peace and stability in Asia, from coddling and protecting North Korea to attempting to steal it's neighbors territories and taking control of he entire East and South China Seas. The Asian nations, except China would rather have a more assertive and armed Japan.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

japan have a big role in international economy and security in ASEAN ''I BELIEVE THAT FRIENDLY ALLIED OF JAPAN WELCOME THIS DECISION TO COUNTER AGRISSIVE MILITARY MIGHT OF CHINA...

0 ( +1 / -1 )

i'm all for it, Japan should revise the article 9 and improve it capabilities to protect its people and allies.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

All it would take is one local boy coming home in a body bag from the Middle East and the public would vote overwhelmingly for any party that pledged to restore Article 9. That would be the DPJ's ticket back into power for a long, long time.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

lucabrasi

Not neccessarily it all depends on how and why he was KIA. If the person's death had a meaningful cause then he will be ushered up as a martyr enforcing the reason why Japan should be in the middle east. The key is how the conflict has direct influnce on nation interest. This kind of method to sway the public interest had been done numerously in the past, with the biggest of all being Pearl Harbor.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

@Samurai

I don't know. At the time of Pearl Harbour, the emperor was a God to be fought for, and Japan was eager to prove herself equal to the West in terms of empire-building. There's a lot less of that kind of nationalistic nonsense around these days.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

lucabrasi

I was talking about the Americans who went into war not the Japanese.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Samurai

Got you. Still, The USA is regarded these days as the "world's policeman", which might make the populace more willing to accept the deaths of their young people more readily. Japan doesn't have any such tradition.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

lucabrasi

It (only) takes a martyr to change the attitude.

If the message strikes the Bushido spirit to defend the weak in Japan then there is no way the majority of Japanese are going to say no.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

@Samurai

If the message strikes the Bushido spirit to defend the weak in Japan then there is no way the majority of Japanese are going to say no.

Agree 100% where it comes to defending Japan herself, but shooting Arabs or Iranians thousands of miles away might not win much support.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

America should cut ties with Japan, let them have their own military, but partnership with a shameless history revisionist like Abe is an insult to all the people his family helped massacre in the past.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

@SS Abe; America cannot cut ties with Japan. Both countries are linked with a common aim which is not for the benefit of the common man.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

In the recent election, inflamatory attacks against foreigners got Abe and Ishihara support.

I understand that many American weapons manufacturers benefit from a recrudesence of Japanese imperialism, but should a democracy submit to being "comforters" of this?

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

I am tickled pink to read that Japan is poised to step out of the shadows of Article 9!

When that anchor is cast into the sea without a rope Japan will become what a should be, a real nation.

The PRC and it's servant nations will have to think twice before trying to push their thuggish agendas through the threats of war.

When that anchor is no more the playing field will be even and Japan will be free once more!

I am not a Champagne drinker I prefer Brandy, but today I am going to order a bottle and will pop it when Artical 9 is no more!

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

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