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Ishiba says deeper Japan-U.S. alliance good for region

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By MATTHEW PENNINGTON

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Let the US look after its own "security" and "defence."

The U.S.A. doesn't exactly have a history of peacemaking.

Japan can look after its own.

-7 ( +5 / -12 )

"Japan can look after its own."

Have to think a large majority in Japan would disagree with you. Japan is surrounded either by hostile countries or countries that are incapable of providing any meaningful military support. And which country is willing to spill blood in defense of Japan?

7 ( +10 / -3 )

"The U.S.A. doesn't exactly have a history of peacemaking."

It certainly does in Japan. Before the US occupation, Japan was the most bellicose nation on Earth. After the American occupiers arrived and foisted their constitution on the Japanese, the country settled into 70 years of peace.

5 ( +10 / -5 )

It certainly does in Japan. Before the US occupation, Japan was the most bellicose nation on Earth

Yeah, most 'closed' country in the world being hostile. You can tell those your kids. Three international wars in 2k years. Show me other country as 'hostile' as Japan and you'll win Nobel Peace Prize!

0 ( +4 / -4 )

The U.S. Japan security alliance is like an old pair of shoes. It pinched a bit when new, but now it's well-worn and comfortable.

3 ( +6 / -3 )

LDP Secretary General Shigeru Ishiba’s real task of his American trip is to try to make an elaborate explanation to the US lawmakers on the Hill for the reasons of breakdown on TPP talks, asking for understanding of Japan’s position pertaining to the American disappointment on TPP negotiations with Japan. (A similar situation took place last December when the US voiced its “disappointment” after Abe’s Yasukuni Shrine visit, a special Japanese envoy was dispatched to the US for the “explanation”.)

In the meantime with little advertisement, LDP's Vice-President, Komura Masahiko will visit Beijing this weekend with a personal message from Abe. (why? hypocrisy might be one of the answers.)

-5 ( +1 / -6 )

The U.S. has done a lot of troubling things, nobody can deny that. And believe me, plenty of people are all for abandoning all the bases overseas, because although some good has also been done, to a lot of people it hasn't been worth the cost in lives or the negative opinions many people have of America now. The question is how stable the world would be if the States became isolationist again.

5 ( +6 / -1 )

@bertie

Let the US look after its own "security" and "defense."

We can walk and chew gum at the same time. I WISH Japan could take care of itself. If it could, it wouldn't get pushed around by China so much. China is doing it, because it knows Japan in the long run could never muster up a sizable threat. Even South Korea to a certain extent can take care of itself more than Japan can.

The U.S.A. doesn't exactly have a history of peacemaking.

Oh, really? Japan now is a peaceful nation, "You are very welcome."

Japan can look after its own.

April 1st is past us, Bertie.

@paulinusa @crazyjoe

Have to think a large majority in Japan would disagree with you. Japan is surrounded either by hostile countries or countries that are incapable of providing any meaningful military support. And which country is willing to spill blood in defense of Japan?

Exactly, if Japan were ever attacked, most countries, particularly Asian countries wouldn't go out of their way to help Japan. They know this, that is precisely why Japan IS comfortable with the U.S. protecting it, because they know they wouldn't have to spend a lot of blood to protect their OWN country. The U.S. is Japan's ONLY real true friend it has.

-1 ( +3 / -4 )

@JeffLee

A small correction ... before the American Imperial conquistadors arrived and aggressively foisted their values on the Japanese at the point of a cannon, the country had enjoyed 250 years of peace. A peace longer than the USA ... a nation built on breaking treaties and genocide ... had existed for.

Up until the Russians then threatened Japan, that equates to, say, 370 years of peace, and even during the period of expansionism, for the people of Japan that peace remained the way of life. There were no internal wars, no killing off indigenous "varmin".

What other nation has had such long periods of peace? That propagandist vision of Japanese you share is false.

If America cannot bring peace, civility, crime free safety to its own society ... how on Earth could it have brought it to Japan?

-6 ( +5 / -11 )

Secretary-General Shigeru Ishiba was spot on with everything he said.

Japan is an island nation that has been at peace for 69 years and most of it's people wish for peace. But, with all the aggression that has been coming from it's neighbors as of late no wonder Abe's plan to rid Japan of Article 9 has great support.

If a neighbor came to your front door and demanded a large part of your yard would you give it to him? Of course you wouldn't, you'd call the cops and take him to court. But, if that didn't stop him you'd fight back.

Communist China is the bad neighbor and it wants everyone of it's neighbors yards.

BertieWoosterMay. 03, 2014 - 07:26AM JST Let the US look after its own "security" and "defence."

I don't think that the nations feeling Communist China's aggression feel the same way as you.

If Britain had been more forceful against Hitler rather than appeasing, Hitler and Stalin would never of invaded Poland. But, Neville Chamberlain and his appeasement policies led directly to World War II. If the US of A and other nations do as you wish when it comes to Communist China's regional aggressions there will be a World War III in the near future.

The more you give into bullies the more they will demand and try to take.

BertieWoosterMay. 03, 2014 - 07:26AM JST The U.S.A. doesn't exactly have a history of peacemaking.

If war breaks out because of an invasion by Communist China, "peacemaking" will be the least wanted attribute from the US of A.

BertieWoosterMay. 03, 2014 - 07:26AM JST Japan can look after its own.

Glad to read that you agree that Japan needs to rid itself of Article 9.

0 ( +5 / -5 )

the country had enjoyed 250 years of peace.*

The country had enjoyed 250 years of isolation on pain of death. That's not peace, it's tyranny.

2 ( +5 / -3 )

Ishiba has always had a pro U.S. attitude, but I wonder how he stands with the more far rightist crowd in his camp. I once saw him on a TV show defending the U.S. back a few years ago. There were many critical of the U.S. in the crowd, but he reminded them that it was Japan who attacked the U.S., not the other way around. He seems very pro U.S. As with all things Japan, however, I wonder if his views are shared by Aso and others in that cabinet. There are usually factions withing factions when it comes to Japan.

1 ( +3 / -2 )

@5petals

I think it's safe to say that Ishiba and Abe do not agree on matters of nationalism. And at least personally, I think he would rather interpret Article 9 to allow collective defense rather than abolish it altogether.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

Steven C. Shulz

Edo period was period of feudalism, not modern, no democracy, no human rights, some uprisings, some famines, but I think it was basically a peaceful era in Japan's history. It is obvious if you compare that period with sengoku period with lots of civil wars or Meiji and showa period.

But I do think blaming threat of imperialism for the only reason of Japan's invasion is false, and Mr. Ed sounds rude to the United States, which I think is what you really wanted to protest toward Mr.Ed.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

@ Steven C. Schulz

Tyranny ... really? And what, if Hideyoshi had allowed the Christians to play divide and rule and enslave 100,000s of Japanese (most young women), Japan would have been in a better position? The tyrants didn't turned up in 1853 pointing their canons at civilians and demanding to be allowed to exploit the Japanese market.

I think you're either knowing or unknowing reinforcing a grossly exaggerated and negative stereotype, perhaps to justify what happened when the Americans did arrive and make their aggressive threats and demands. I suggest you read up and do you homework on Edo Period starting with stuff like;

A highly sustainable and equal society consisting of vital commercial sectors, burgeoning urban centers, a well-educated elite, a sophisticated government bureaucracy, productive agriculture, a closely unified nation with highly developed financial and marketing systems, urban populations with the means and leisure time to support arts and culture and a highly spiritual tradition.

If it was "tyranny" that saved Japan from invasion and invading others, from becoming the victim of European Imperialism, from carrying out the American genocide or being victim to one, from being torn apart from within, and led to the development of the largest, mostly orderly and safe city in the world at that time (Edo) and some of the greatest arts ... then I suggest that such "tyranny" must be a very good social system and the envy of many societies even today.

2 ( +4 / -2 )

Back on topic please.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

How was Japan before the US occupation any more bellicose than, say, France, Britain or Belgium, all of which established brutally-ruled empires across the globe?

Yes, Japan's occupation of Korea and parts of China was despicably immoral, but so was that of said European states in Africa and Asia.

The Japanese mistake was the colour of their skin. Only whites, not yellows, were welcome at the imperialists' club.

1 ( +4 / -3 )

@lucabrasi,

I think that is a very shallow statement. The Japanese, even today, dont have much in common with the West. Even the Nazis, while a bit fascinated with them, did not fully understand Japanese. In these present times, I dont think Japan is ready to sit at the Western table of democracy as we know it. I believe it was Lee Quan Yew who said that allowing Japan to have its own stand alone army is the same as giving an alcoholic bourbon chocolates. There is the occasional window of hope of a progressive liberal democracy, but its always quickly diminished by a desire for the colonial past and conquest. I cannot see Japan leading any coalition with Western powers as an equal.

0 ( +3 / -3 )

The country had enjoyed 250 years of isolation on pain of death. That's not peace, it's tyranny.

I'll clarify myself once. To me, peace is the coming together of people for the common good. It is a bottom-up process. To impose an absence of belligerence from the top is silence, not peace. And to make it a capital offense was tyranny, not worse or better than the governments of Europe at the same time, and in some places even today.

As to everything else, I'll leave the historiological debate to others.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

"How was Japan before the US occupation any more bellicose than, say, France, Britain or Belgium, all of which established brutally-ruled empires across the globe?"

I don't recall those countries launching unilateral invasions of every single one of their neighbors in the mid-20th century and killing 10 million people in the process, and also forcing the surviving populations to worship the invader's ruler as a living god. (History quiz: What year was Britain's "invasion" of India?)

Back to the point, a comparison of the US occupation of Japan with Japan's occupation of Korea, China, Philippines, Hong Kong, and so on, and it's starkly clear who was "bellicose," and who was the peacemaker.

0 ( +3 / -3 )

Yes, Japan had a history of not playing nice with other Asian nations and Russia. That is history. Right now, there is no way Japan is capable of protecting itself. When Article 9 is changed, and it will be changed, it is only a matter of time before NHK and the LDP have successfully changed the Japanese populace to accept the change, then Japan can begin building its military capabilities. I just hope they are able to import the military staff because the young folks today in Japan have no interest in anything that would require something like let's say - giving their life. That is the reality of a military. These old geezers demanding the change will never serve, fight, or die. The young in Japan, well to be polite is comical to even think they would. Unless a cute anime mascot is created to brainwash them into serving.

3 ( +5 / -2 )

habidaccusMay. 03, 2014 - 08:56AM JST The question is how stable the world would be if the States became isolationist again.

Probably Eastern Europe would be Russian again and all of Asia would be speaking Chinese.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

@5petals & Jeff

France was torturing Algerian "rebels" with blowtorches into the 1960's. It's all relative. Look at the British army in Ulster in the 70's and 80's. All horribly wrong.

Japan has no monopoly on war crimes.

3 ( +4 / -1 )

5petalsMay. 03, 2014 - 05:05PM JST There is the occasional window of hope of a progressive liberal democracy, but its always quickly diminished by a >desire for the colonial past and conquest. I cannot see Japan leading any coalition with Western powers as an equal.

Japan has been part of western coalitions since 1915. Even prior, it was supported by the west in the Sino-Japanese War of 1894/95 and by Britain and the U.S. in the Russo-Japanese war of 1904/05. Japan was an adversary of the west for 4 years out of over 150 years. Western nations have little to no issues with Japan's military today and as early as 1950 the US forced Japan to create the predecessor of today's JSDF. Japan has neither need nor interest in being a "leader" of any coalition but is welcomed by the western coalition nations. It is only China, and to a leer extent, South Korea that continues to make an issue out of WWII. It is an huge mistake to think that the rest of the world thinks likewise, especially when the world is aware of China's present threat to regional peace and stability.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

"France was torturing Algerian "rebels" with blowtorches into the 1960's... Japan has no monopoly on war crimes."

I didn't say it does. But Paul Aussaresses' revelation of torture caused a firestorm in France. President Chirac expressed "shock" and stripped him of the right to wear his uniform and of his awards. The Human Rights League issued a demand for prosecution, and an official French tribunal fined him.

Now, how many official Japanese tribunals investigated torture incidents by Japanese military members and issued reprimands? None. In fact, the Japanese torturers, among the over 1,000 class-B Japanese criminals, are honored by the Japanese at Yasukuni.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

@Jeff

I've no quarrel with the idea that Japan's attitude to past wrongdoings is less than perfect. There's a real need for some urgent soul-searching.

But again, the early/mid twentieth century was a time of rabid, dog-eat-dog nationalism and imperialistic supremacism. Japan just joined in with the mob.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

I must make a correction. Japan has been part of coalitions since 1900. See " Boxer Rebellion". Which took place in of all places, China.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

China has just started drilling in waters disputed with Vietnam and have no problem ignoring requests to desist, they will think nothing of pushing forward with their plans to do the same around senkakus.

China needs to be kept in check and shown that its continued belligerence cannot continue.

It does not care what it's neighbours say think or do it is like that drunk guy rushing to get the last train on Friday night, barging through everyone else to make sure he is alright and doesn't care who he knocks over to do it.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Yes, the deeper in Hell you go the nearer the fires of Hell.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

@Steven C. SchulzMAY. 03, 2014 - 02:29PM JST @5petals

I think it's safe to say that Ishiba and Abe do not agree on matters of nationalism. And at least personally, I think he would rather interpret Article 9 to allow collective defense rather than abolish it altogether.he

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In 2013, he wanted to be head of LDP to oust Abe and he lost to Abe. Somehow, Abe include all who had been against Abe to give them chance. If Abe has 1/10 of Aso's big mouth we might learn what Abe thinks.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

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