politics

Ozawa says Abe's policy shift risks taking Japan down dangerous path

39 Comments
By Linda Sieg

The requested article has expired, and is no longer available. Any related articles, and user comments are shown below.

© (c) Copyright Thomson Reuters 2014.

©2019 GPlusMedia Inc.

39 Comments
Login to comment

These things don't happen in a vacuum Ozawa.

When other nations constantly harass and be belligerent towards Japan, what other option was there.

-19 ( +7 / -25 )

America acts like the policeman of the world, has a militaristic attitude, builds up dictators with their military, creates armies and overbloats their spending to the point of massive debt. And just look at how "well" they are doing. If anything, Japan is lucky they have their military expenses paid by America and don't have to be responsible for anything, but if Abe wants to do this, instigate more hatred, waste more money, and create armies that aren't necessary, then by all means, follow the path of America.

2 ( +12 / -10 )

"Ozawa has been a fixture in Japanese politics for four decades." in the smoke filled backrooms of Nagatacho.

0 ( +5 / -5 )

"As DPJ leader in 2007, Ozawa opposed a law allowing Japan to refuel foreign ships taking part in U.S.-led operations in Afghanistan"

That didn't help Afghanistan, did it, Ozawa?

-5 ( +5 / -10 )

I could be wrong, but, I beleive Ozawa argued the exact opposite in his book "Blueprint for a New Japan" It has been a while since I read it, but I do believe there was a chapter in there dedicated to the role the JSDF should play. I will have to look back at that.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

I wish Ozawa were in Abe's place.

0 ( +14 / -14 )

I wouldn't trust Ozawa to speak for much less run Japan. The man is 99% his own political gains and 1% for his country.

7 ( +16 / -9 )

But look how far Abe has retreated from his original positions. He has dropped talk about amending the constitution because he knows Japanese people, including me, would never allow it. Unfortunately, he will be reelected by his country bumbkin constituency again and again because Japan is not a democracy. There has been no reapportionment since the end of the war, in spite of a major population shift to the cities, where the LDP has no support. Japan will be ruined by the country bumbkins.

9 ( +13 / -4 )

Ozawa wanted a China aligned Japan. His party lead to a caos that ultimately lead to a nuclear disaster in Fukushima. Also I don't believe his party was successful doing recovery since they were only able to manipulate the currency for a short time. Most of the companies in Japan was ignored by the government and even Sony was working in red.

-5 ( +5 / -10 )

I think the bags under Ozawa's eyes would be big enough to hold somebody's wallet. He is 72 years old and it would be nice if he retired, but of course it's almost inevitable that his successor will be one of his children. He has 3 sons, I believe.

1 ( +3 / -2 )

America acts like the policeman of the world, has a militaristic attitude, builds up dictators with their military, creates armies and overbloats their spending to the point of massive debt. And just look at how "well" they are doing. If anything, Japan is lucky they have their military expenses paid by America and don't have to be responsible for anything, but if Abe wants to do this, instigate more hatred, waste more money, and create armies that aren't necessary, then by all means, follow the path of America.

America does NOT pay Japan's defense expenses! As a matter of fact, Japan pays the US. Half of the cost of the US military in Japan is borne by Japan.

9 ( +10 / -1 )

Apparently , Ichiro Ozawa answered his own conscience by telling his gut feeling about Abe.

Years ago, Bush and Cheney duo hijacked American public with so called patriotism, and led the US to a wrong path. It took some time for American people to realize the dangers and harms after serious damages were done.

It’s highly possible that American’s case might also hold true in Japan today, as Ichiro Ozawa indicated, for Abe and co. who are seemingly leading blind-folded Japanese people to the slaughtering house.

The worst part is, unlike the US, with Japan’s demographics constraints looming large on the horizon, any prolonged armed conflict would set the chain action in motion, putting Japan on the diminishing pathway.

4 ( +9 / -5 )

Actually, Japan pays more than half for military expenses ...But then again don't you think it's a pretty good deal? Having America as big brother ally watching over the likes of Russia, China, and North Korea is an asset that cannot be underestimated. Japan is in a pretty tough neighborhood and most of the surrounding countries have no love for it. If Amercia were to pull out if Japan, things would not bode very well for Japan...but then again, I'm sure Abe's vison of a military would be able to take care of things.

0 ( +5 / -5 )

"As DPJ leader in 2007, Ozawa opposed a law allowing Japan to refuel foreign ships taking part in U.S.-led operations in Afghanistan"

Even though that would have helped defeat terrorists. Incredible...

-4 ( +1 / -5 )

'He said the political tide that made him seem right-wing 20 years ago had shifted so much that he now comes across as leftist'

I'm not a fan of Ozawa but this is depressingly true and it's tragic to see Japan seeing its egalitarian ideals and pacifism destroyed by greed and the militaristic fantasies of the far right. Japan needs to look at the consequences of rightist thinking in countries like the US and UK and ask if they want the kinds of societies they have created - enormous wage gaps with the poor being left to rot as the rich take an even larger share of the wealth and soldiers coming home in body bags from places they shouldn't have been in the first place.

1 ( +4 / -3 )

Ozawa seems desperate to change his image as a power broker, but his efforts have not completely paid off. There are many critics, and the strongest come from the media.

3 ( +4 / -1 )

I wouldn't trust Ozawa to speak for much less run Japan.

Even the most stupid, corrupt or self-serving people are right about some things sometimes. Abe, for instance, has said some things I agree with but unfortunately he's pretty much all talk. He'll never have the guts to make any really tough choices.

The man is 99% his own political gains and 1% for his country.

1% isn't bad for most politicians.

1 ( +4 / -3 )

As much as Ozawa is as corrupt and out for personal gain as so many people point out, including his contrasting Abe with his own coinage of the phrase "normal country" and touting his book, he's not wrong in what he says about Abe.

4 ( +10 / -6 )

Ozawa needs to continue being critical because that's his job. He needs to somehow stay relevant and let his supporters know that he still has opinions to give. Abe has recently repeatedly said that Japan must never go to war again and these changes to Japan's military rules are absolutely necessary when looking at China's behavior.

-1 ( +2 / -3 )

drakedogma: Do some homework on your numbers before you chime in. In FY 2013 the U.S. spent $643 billion on the military, but $1,984 billion on social welfare programs and handouts. That is almost 2 trillion on social welfare. How much more needs to be spent on social welfare before people say the U.S. should spend less on the military and more on handouts?

-1 ( +2 / -3 )

Abe is a fool like bush who lives in his own make believe world of past japan glories and self delusion. Ozawa is no saint but he is calling it like it is. Abe is dangerous to Japan, as Bush was to the USA. Already Japanese firms are pulling out of China due to Abe. That is terrible for the future of Japan.

I am so ashamed of the Japanese people for voting for such an loser. He failed once already but the people forget this and reelect him to leadership again. It is so sad.

Japan has many real challenges ahead and Abe is facing none of them. He is only making up fake issues for his own political gain and to restore the image of his grandfather, a war criminal.

2 ( +6 / -4 )

I'm facing a dilemma now. I have constantly berated Abe as a fascist and warmonger, but now that he's been condemned by Ozawa, this country's most self-serving and untrustworthy politician, perhaps I'll have to review my opinions.

-1 ( +3 / -4 )

When asked why he had 400,000,000 yen in cash in his office Ozawa responded, "that sounds about right for someone in my position". Somebody buy this man a fishing pole.

6 ( +6 / -0 )

Japan is already on the dangerous path, and has been for, well, since before most here were born.

That dangerous path is the refusal to come out of its shell, the continuing reliance on US power for its national defense. Japan's 'pacifism' relies on US violence.

-1 ( +3 / -4 )

@zirconium, Japanese people did not "vote him in". He is there because of a failed democracy in Japan. No reapportionment since 1945 in spite of a huge movement of people into the cities, so we are ruled by a minority of country bumbkins who elect the same politicians or their sons year after year. Country bumbkins will ruin Japan. But, when the first Japanese boy dies in some distant land in a US sponsored war, things will change fast. Abe and his like will be out.

5 ( +7 / -2 )

"Japan is in a pretty tough neighborhood and most of the surrounding countries have no love for it."

"...other nations constantly harass and be belligerent[sic] towards Japan."

Really? I wonder why that is. What did Japan do to them?

2 ( +5 / -3 )

Mr. OZAWA SAYS: “Abe’s concept for Japan is to have a pre-war imperial-style military... a kind of Imperial revival,” he said. “there is something rather dangerous about his political view as a top leader.” ---- This is a statement coming from a man known to be one of the main pillars in Japanese political arena and someone who knows ABE very well, so then why wouldn't China and Korea feel this danger as well? In fact US and Western Europeans are now beginning to feel weary of ABE's re-armament of Japan.

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

tokyodoumo In fact US and Western Europeans are now beginning to feel weary of ABE's re-armament of Japan.

Really? I thought Japan was getting support from almost all governments in the world except SK and China.

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

There will be no need for war. China had over 50,000 rivers not that long ago. Now it has less than half of that and is losing 1000 additional rivers every year through mismanagement of its industrial base. Groundwater to the depth of six meters is so contaminated that it cannot even be used for agricultural purposes. In short, China is committing suicide.

The US doesn't have to do anything but watch. When the PRC implodes, we will undo the damage so that the new countries born out of the carcass of Communist China have a fair chance at surviving in the new World Order. Water stress is measured at a populace having less than 1000 cubic meters of water per year for each citizen. In the north, the PRC has a little less than 200 for each citizen. In short, China is committing suicide.

Already, the Yangtze People's Republic is fighting mad at the South North Diversion Project which will ensure that the Yangtze River is periodically emptied dry for the sake of Beijing, which is stealing their water. Likewise, the Yellow River Federation is suffering from ecological contamination from the confluence of so many rivers into its tributary system. And the large cities in the Oriental Pearl are demanding better stewardship of their water for their own people and industries in the south.

Did I mention that the PRC is committing suicide?

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

@zirconium, Japanese people did not "vote him in". He is there because of a failed democracy in Japan. No reapportionment since 1945 in spite of a huge movement of people into the cities, so we are ruled by a minority of country bumbkins who elect the same politicians or their sons year after year.

Right, even Abe said just after his election victory that he didn't have much of a popular mandate. He owed it all to the LDP's election-rigging system and the uselessness of the DPJ government. It also helped that around 40% of the electorate didn't bother to vote and let the country bumpkins get their way.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

'"America does NOT pay Japan's defense expenses! As a matter of fact, Japan pays the US. Half of the cost of the US military in Japan is borne by Japan." ???????? So you are reaching into my wallet every week to pay for half your defense while blocking any car or part or anything else I make from being sold there. What a freaking ally. AU and Korea and the EU don't steal from my paycheck for defending them and then block my products.

-3 ( +0 / -3 )

@ JT whomever....the story about the foreigner denied benefits is HUGE and it behooves you to write about it.

Do the right thing!

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Ozawa never turned back on his words like Noda, Abe and the other liars. No tax increases. As soon as they took power , they increased taxes. Regressive taxes on food, every day commodities, meds and life. Ozawa needs to rule.

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

JapanGal

That's one of the perks of never being PM.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

“The cabinet can adopt whatever resolution it likes, but there is no scope for reinterpretation,” Ozawa said. “To call for a revision of Article 9 would be logical, and that is what a proper statesman should do.”

This is the only time I have agreed with anything Ozawa has said and although I think there is no other politician who is on-par with him in terms of ego and the determination to obtain the highest position at the expense of all else and NO-ONE in Japan who has caused greater damage to any political party or country to pursue these ambitions since WWII, he is spot-on with this remark.

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

From Constitutional Revision to Re-interpretation

Isn't this policy change by Tokyo along the lines of U.S. instructions?

At a news conference held on July 10, 2001, just two months before the 9/11 terrorist attacks occurred, former U.S. Ambassador to Japan Howard Baker had suggested that the Japanese Constitution be revised so that Japan could send SDF contingents overseas to cooperate effectively with U.S. forces. His opinion was a telltale reflection of Washington's decades-old stance on that matter.

In an interview article in the March 2004 issue of Bungeishunju magazine, then U.S. Deputy Secretary of State Richard Armitage expressed high hopes that the war-renouncing Japanese constitution must be revised for the sake of a stronger Japan-U.S. alliance. He had earlier expressed the same view at the Japan Press Club.

It soon turned out, however, that it would take too long a time, or probably be almost impossible, under a current provision stipulating constitutional procedures for the Japanese government to revise the constitution. So the so-called "Japanophiles" such as Joseph Nye and Richard Armitage started saying the re-interpretation of Article 9 would do just as well in effectiveness as actually revising the constitution.

Shinzo Abe is a grandson of Nobusuke Kishi, 56th and 57th Prime Minister, who was convicted as a Class A war criminal at the Tokyo War Crimes Trial. Abe was Secretary-General of the LDP from 2003 to 2004, Chief Cabinet Secretary under the third Koizumi administration from 2005 to 2006, Prime Minister from 2006 to 2007 and has been one since 2012. His actions for constitutional revision and then re-interpretation prove to parallel the counselling or ill-advice by the above-mentioned "Japanophiles."

The bottom line: the Japan represented by Abe is no other than a U.S. vassal that does everything faithfully along the lines dictated by the suzerain U.S.. No wonder Okinawa remains a U.S. military colony 69 years after the end of World War II.

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

Shinzo Abe is a grandson of Nobusuke Kishi, 56th and 57th Prime Minister, who was convicted as a Class A war criminal at the Tokyo War Crimes Trial.

No he wasn't (though to be fair, I've actually made this same mistake myself)

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Strangerland:

Kishi was held at Sugamo Prison only as a Class A war crimes suspect but was never indicted. So he was not a Class A war criminal. Thank you for the correction.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

Login to leave a comment

Facebook users

Use your Facebook account to login or register with JapanToday. By doing so, you will also receive an email inviting you to receive our news alerts.

Facebook Connect

Login with your JapanToday account

User registration

Articles, Offers & Useful Resources

A mix of what's trending on our other sites