politics

Regional tensions test Japan's new defense minister on first day

31 Comments
By Tim Kelly and Kiyoshi Takenaka

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Tomomi Inada will have precious little time to settle into her new job

...because China is always acting like a petulant child

1 ( +12 / -11 )

“She is the kind of person who regularly listens to a wide range of people. I believe she will employ a practical policy,” said Bonji Ohara, a research fellow at the Tokyo Foundation think-tank.

A non-statement. Our kind of think tank!

4 ( +6 / -2 )

There is a saying along the lines of one's being only as good as the company one keeps. "China is North Korea’s main ally..." Enough said.

7 ( +10 / -3 )

She'll visit Yasukuni. She just won't be able to help herself.

6 ( +10 / -4 )

Japan is dead set to revive the old imperialist past under the protection and safety under the Japan-U.S. alliance.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

“It’s a matter of conscience and I don’t think I should comment on whether I will go or not,” she said.

No need to comment, you gave your answer and quite loudly too. Your actions in the past tell us all what your "conscience" is about.

Be prepared for the backlash.

5 ( +7 / -2 )

Whatever. They need to spend printed money on something.

Get ready for a BIG Japanese military over the next decade.

1 ( +3 / -2 )

What really qualifies her anyways for this job?

Connections and agreeing with what the great leader says seems to be the only requirements.

3 ( +5 / -2 )

sandhonourAug. 04, 2016 - 07:18AM JST She'll visit Yasukuni. She just won't be able to help herself.

So what? United States Marine Corps Lieutenant General Wallace Gregson visited Yasukuni. Former President of the Republic of China Lee Teng-hui visited Yasukuni. Is there some sort of problem?

-4 ( +8 / -12 )

What really qualifies her anyways for this job?

As with many if not all in Abe's cabinet, including Abe himself, inquiring minds are asking the very same question.

The answer, payback and cronyism. Cabinet members are typically not picked for their qualifications, and the people in those ministries know just who actually runs the office, it sure isn't her, it's the career bureaucrats who runs things, and let her be the figurehead.

Cabinet ministers come and go, the career types are always there, and THEY are the one's that keep this country dog paddling along.

8 ( +10 / -2 )

sandhonourAug. 04, 2016 - 07:18AM JST She'll visit Yasukuni. She just won't be able to help herself.

Why shouldn't she visit, paying respects to the war dead is very country's right.

-3 ( +7 / -10 )

So what? United States Marine Corps Lieutenant General Wallace Gregson visited Yasukuni.

Is United States Marine Corps Lieutenant General Wallace Gregson a revisionist nationalist?

-2 ( +4 / -6 )

What really qualifies her anyways for this job?

That's a good question. She has served 4 terms in the Diet but is now a Cabinet minister for the first time, having jumped over 70 LDP members with more seniority than her. Perhaps it's just loyalty to Shinzo ( and his ideas ) that has landed her this job, for which she seems to have no particular aptitude. Who knows. Maybe she has a special friend, like Takaichi Sanae.

3 ( +7 / -4 )

A lawyer as defence minister? The future of Japan looks bleak.......

4 ( +7 / -3 )

Given the average age of the LDP she could probably jump over most without a sweat. We need a different perspective on handling China and NK. The old methods are not giving the results Japan needs.

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

Regional tensions test Japan's new defense minister on first day

Equals. . . must arrange for severe negotiations and coordination with commander of US Forces Japan.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

A lawyer as defence minister? The future of Japan looks bleak.......

Why? A number of those holding this post in the US were lawyers, most recently Leon Panetta. The current one is started as a medieval historian and later became a physicist.

At least she is a civilian and a woman. If he worked at it, Abe could have made a worse appointment such as an uber hawk out of the Jieitai.

-4 ( +4 / -8 )

At least she is a civilian and a woman. If he worked at it, Abe could have made a worse appointment such as an uber hawk out of the Jieitai.

FYI the new, current Gov of Tokyo was the defense minister as well. Putting a woman in the position serves a few purposes, probably the most important one being that it makes it look good for Abe, having a female in charge of a male dominated ministry and one pertaining to the defense of the country

2 ( +4 / -2 )

NK leadership needs to be wiped off the map. Meanwhile China has already set the table, claiming the entire sea as China's is laughable but China won't stop its increasing threat of violence behind it. Japan's new defence minister needs to stand up to this but by not outright saying no she will not visit Yasukuni, will only increase tensions not reduce them. That'll happen this month

It's the perfect storm. They're all cruising for a bruising so it's only a matter of time for something to give

4 ( +4 / -0 )

“It’s a matter of conscience and I don’t think I should comment on whether I will go or not,”

Oh, but she certainly has no trouble announcing her intention of going and getting the media in on it when she does, as she undoubtedly will again. She just didn't want to have to defend the worship of war criminals (and trying to say they were not) on her first day.

1 ( +5 / -4 )

"Tomomi Inada will have precious little time to settle into her new job as Japan’s defense minister..."

And quite possibly precious little time before she's replaced by another Abe appointee.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

“It’s a matter of conscience and I don’t think I should comment on whether I will go or not,” she said. what a gutless answer, even for a lawyer. but hey we all know what she'll do anyways. She just wait for everyone else to go to be sure she's not the only one. LOL

0 ( +1 / -1 )

I saw the map of the location where the rocket ended up (unless the image has been tampered with) http://www.j-cast.com/assets_c/2016/08/news_20160803130344-thumb-autox380-91515.jpg

That was awfully close to Japan. North Korea's moving closer and closer to an international incident.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Xi Jin-ping has played the game of fait accompli. He's tough, too. Let's hope that Premier Abe and his new cabinet will find out a solution for Xi Jin-ping's assertiveness. Mrs Inada may go to the shrine on May 15, 2016 to honor those who sacrified for Japan. What's wrong?. I strongly believe that Mao Zedong, Deng Xiaoping and even Xi Jinping were worst than men like Matsui Iwane. They committed a lot of international crimes, from aggression, to murder, from torture to genocide, from crimes against Humanity, to crimes against Human Rights. The ways Xi Jinping and Zhongnanhai responded to the PCA rule of July 12, 2016 tell it all.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

OssanAmericaAUG. 04, 2016 - 08:00AM JST

So what? United States Marine Corps Lieutenant General Wallace Gregson visited Yasukuni. Former President of the Republic of China Lee Teng-hui visited Yasukuni. Is there some sort of problem?

They weren't members of the Japanese Diet, were they. Inada will make sure that her visit is accompanied by all the usual fuss and fanfare so her crypto-fascist friends know they're getting their money's worth, never mind what the Constitution says about the separation of government and religion.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Simon FostonAug. 04, 2016 - 11:25PM JST "OssanAmericaAUG. 04, 2016 - 08:00AM JST So what? United States Marine Corps Lieutenant General Wallace Gregson visited Yasukuni. Former President of the Republic of China Lee Teng-hui visited Yasukuni. Is there some sort of problem?

They weren't members of the Japanese Diet, were they. Inada will make sure that her visit is accompanied by all the usual fuss and fanfare so her crypto-fascist friends know they're getting their money's worth, never mind what the >Constitution says about the separation of government and religion.

Yasukuni is an issue created by China, carried by South Korea and painted as some hive of fascism. This view is a fallacy. Every nation's politicians and citizens have the right the honor their war dead, and in the case of Yasukuni those honored go back to the late 1800s. Whether Diet members or average citizens go is irrelevant, particularly as those who do go do so to pray for peace and no more wars. Contrast that to the current Chinese government which is advocating war. So which poses a greater threat to peace in the region, praying for peace and no more wars, or advocating war in defiance of a PAC ruling and international opinion? The separation of church and state does not prohibit US Presidents from going to church. And it does not prohibit Japanese politicians from visiting temples and shrines.

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

OssanAmericaAUG. 05, 2016 - 12:57AM JST

The separation of church and state does not prohibit US Presidents from going to church. And it does not prohibit Japanese politicians from visiting temples and shrines.

They can go in a strictly private capacity, then. Yasukuni is a private facility, not a public one, If they do go privately then it should get no more attention than what they have for breakfast every day, where their children go to school or what their bank card PINs are, i.e. none whatsoever. There are plenty of state-maintained facilities and events where they can fulfil their official obligations to honour the war dead.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Well, I've got this to say: Japan's true idiot nationalist are few and far between. We see them ranting from their pathetic trucks.

The rest are, like most Japanese, primarily nominal in their ideological affectations. At heart, they are pragmatist. At least at this point in history.

So what? Well, it pleases me to no end that, if I may be so bold to speak for America, we can count on them to do the right thing.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

@smith

She just didn't want to have to defend the worship of war criminals (and trying to say they were not) on her first day.

Ah yes mind reading again. Paying respects to the war dead is everyone's right, they were not all criminals (although you probably think they are smith).

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Just a userAUG. 05, 2016 - 11:04PM JST Ah yes mind reading again. Paying respects to the war dead is everyone's right.

It's a Japanese politician's duty to uphold the Constitution by paying their respects privately unless it's at an official event.

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

Simon Foston It's a Japanese politician's duty to uphold the Constitution by paying their respects privately unless it's at an official event.

Says you. I am pretty sure you lot would still be whining and moaning even if it was in a private capacity.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

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