I am back in Germany. OK, I arrived a little bit more than a month ago but as always I didn’t have time until now to tell you that. Shortly before my flight back home I was planning to post a somewhat polemic article on the political landscape in Japan (see below), but as always I didn’t finish the article and I have been swamped with work since my arrival.
So, as a small compensation, I firstly present the somewhat polemic article that I only wrote in English:
Abe bans war! Not.
Pardon the Oldspeak, but as many of you know I am not up-to-date with the Newspeak. (Such reference. Much Orwell. Wow.) As my last post written in Japan before I head home – technically, as of writing these lines I already left Japan in a plane and I plan to hit the ‘post’ button when I’ll be sitting in Abu Dhabi at 4am but who the fuck cares – I would like to dedicate these few paragrahps to round up some of what’s been happening in Japan politically over the past few weeks.
Against my habit (or analness, as some would say) to use sources to the best of my knowledge and make these sources transparent, I’ll be writing off the top of my head in a somewhat zuihitsu-like style.
The Liar’s Paradox
There is a historical tendency in the ruling party to try to establish a new constitution because the current one was imposed by the Allied forces and thus does not really represent ‘Japanese values’ (whatever the fuck that means). Now, incidentally, most of this supposed ‘un-Japaneseness’ hinges on beloved Article 9, the one that basically prohibits the use of Armed Forces for anything but strictly self-defensive purposes.
By now widening the scope of this use in the form of allowing collective self-defense and thus coming to help allied states, Japan’s biggest and happiest friend is … America!
That’s right. Those same Allied schmucks who imposed the oh-so oppressive constitution upon Japan in the first place. Now, why do we want to help them, when we don’t like what they did to us?
But wait. There is a misunderstanding in this paradox here (at least in the first part). I forgot to mention that the US were not so happy themselves over the constitution they imposed (nobody denies that it was imposed) on Japan. Because as it turned out just one or two years after the constitution was established, Asia is a fucked up, unstable place with dictators, would-be dictators and a whole lot of unresolved issues and mutual hatred.
So after this became clear, America realized that it now had to get Japan on its side to support the cause of keeping peace and stability in Asia: a move that somewhat contradicted what the US had told Japan to do when imposing said constitution.
And this, in the end, now some 60 years after the 日本国とアメリカ合衆国との間の相互協力及び安全保障条約 “Treaty of Mutual Cooperation and Security between the United States and Japan” – interestingly put forward by then-prime minister 岸 信介 Kishi Nobusuke who happens to be Abe Shinzos grandfather – results in the Japanese Self-Defense Forces being enabled to be employed in conflicts that do not directly affect Japanese territory and/or necessarily represent Japanese interests.
A great future awaits us…
Even if what I wrote above might be imprecise and highly subjective, I hope that I could keep your interest on this topic (which has been covered quite some times on this blog). And I announce that there will be more articles in the near future (not just regarding this topic, I promise)!
So in the meantime, I can only recommend to check out what has been written here before and to just go through the categories again.