JAPAN'S CABINET EASES POST-WWII LIMITS ON MILITARY
By MARI YAMAGUCHI and KEN MORITSUGU
— Jul. 1, 2014
TOKYO (AP) — Since Japan's defeat in World War II, its military has been shackled by restrictions imposed by a victorious U.S. and that, over time, a majority of Japanese adopted as their own. Now, the shackles are being loosened.
Japan's Cabinet on Tuesday approved a reinterpretation of the country's pacifist postwar constitution that will allow the military to help defend allies and others "in a close relationship" with Japan under what is known as "collective self-defense."
Previous governments have said the war-renouncing Article 9 of the constitution limited the use of force to defending Japan.
Prime Minister Shinzo Abe said the shift is needed to protect the lives of the Japanese people in an increasingly severe security environment. Japanese warships would be able to help protect U.S. ships that were defending Japan, he said.
"Peace is not something you expect to be given, but it's something that we must achieve on our own," he said in a televised news conference.
The issue has divided Japan, where many worry about China's growing military assertiveness but also support the anti-war clause of the constitution and fret about a possible slide toward the militarism that led to World War II.
About 2,000 people protested outside Abe's office, saying that any change to the constitution should be made through a public referendum, not simply a Cabinet reinterpretation.
Thanks, Frank. I was also wondering about a larger issue: are pacifist ideals still viable?
Japan’s New Defense Posture
By Lionel Pierre Fatton, TheDiplomat.com, July 10, 2014
The Cabinet of Prime Minister Shinzo Abe approved on July 1 a reinterpretation of the Japanese Constitution, extending the scope of the right to self-defense to include the defense of an ally under attack. Past governments have maintained that Japan possessed the right to collective self-defense under international law, more specifically under Article 51 of the Charter of the United Nations, but that Article 9 of its pacific Constitution prevented the country from exercising this right because doing so would go beyond the minimum necessary for national defense.
Assuming that the set of bills related to Japan’s defense policy to be submitted to the Diet next year is approved, the new government interpretation enables Japan to use the Self-Defense Forces if “the country’s existence is threatened, and there are clear dangers that the people’s right to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness would be overturned” due to an armed attack on Japan or “countries with close ties.” The two other conditions for Japan to exercise the right to collective self-defense are the lack of “other appropriate means” and the obligation to keep the use of armed forces to the minimum required to guarantee Japan’s security.
Don't do it Japan, remain passive. Life is pointless without peace. Better to die for something, than live for nothing.
Shinzo Abe’s way of reinterpreting Japan’s pacifist constitution won’t wash
Peter Popham, The Independent, July 17, 2014)
The Japanese Prime Minister, Shinzo Abe, has provoked a furore after using his parliamentary majority to force through a “reinterpretation” of the country’s constitution, giving Japan the right to collective self-defence. It shows no sign of abating.
Japan’s post-war constitution, drafted by Western lawyers, imposed radical pacifism on the defeated and abject nation. Article 9 reads: “The Japanese people forever renounce war as a sovereign right of the nation and the threat or use of force as a means of settling international disputes.”
Japanese nationalists have bridled against those “humiliating” terms ever since, but pacifism became intrinsic to the way the nation recovered. And most Japanese have been comfortable with these arrangements, not only because the American umbrella removed the necessity of worrying about self-defence but also because they proved an effective antidote to the warmongering horrors of Imperial Japan.
America is filled with people like Cliven Bundy; delusional self-important racist welfare moochers who scream about government tyranny and claim everything is the "[insert minority]" fault. Really, that is all America is; welfare mooches. Americans run their stupid mouths about how they believe in "personal responsibility" and how their nation is so "exceptional", but the entire thing is propped up by it's reserve currency status; Americans print dollars and than imports the world's manufactured goods (mostly made in Asia); Americans live as parasites on the rest of the world.
Going back to Bundy, he owns a 160 acre ranch in southern Nevada; he also grazes his cattle on neighboring land owned by US government; he claims he has a "right" to use this land without payment and any demand for payment by the federal government is "tyranny". Now, let us remember that the land in question was conquered by the US Federal government, at Federal expense, during the Mexican-American War. Moreover, at the end of that war, the US government agreed, in the Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo, to respect Spanish/Mexican land grants; however, through the use of the US federal courts, claim to 90% of the land in the Southwest US was invalidated; it was later opened to White settlers under the "Homestead Act". Of course the Spanish/Mexicans themselves had seized the land from the native Indian populations and, in the case of the land on which Bundy lives, the Spanish/Mexican family holding the land grant had never displaced the local Paiute Indians who were sill living on the land as late 1874. For Mr. Bundy, it is not enough that he is the beneficiary of war and ethnic cleansing, that the federal government seized other peoples lands and made it available to his "kind" on attractive terms; no, he want more land and for free
Mr. Bundy is the archetypal American, they scream about "personal responsibility" and "liberty", but they are the biggest leeches in the world; they are the beneficiary of plunder and exploitation; they live from leeching the world's productive capacity. As long as government is giving them free things they are happy; social security, Medicare, Medicaid, FHA loans, GI bills, and students loans; they call that "personal responsibility" and "liberty". However, as soon they are asked to give up something or to let minorities get a taste of their welfare goodies; this is tyranny. The entire American discussion about "liberty" and "tyranny" is fictitious and mendacious; I looking forward to seeing these people reduced to the most grinding and debasing poverty; then we hear them tell us how much they believe in "personal responsibility".
Campaigners promote nation’s populace to land Nobel Peace Prize
Japan Times, July 12, 2014
Campaigners are pushing for Japan’s population to be awarded this year’s Nobel Peace Prize in a nod to the nation’s postwar pacifism, even as the government expands the scope of the military.
By Friday, the group had amassed a petition with over 150,000 names, and organizers say Japan’s roughly 128 million residents are now among the potential candidates for the award. As it was not possible to nominate the Constitution, activists moved to get the population on the prize list instead.
But even if the odds are slim, with hundreds of candidates, the message is just as important, said homemaker Naoko Takasu, 37, who came up with the plan.
“The idea came to me when I was watching a TV report about the Nobel Peace Prize awarded to the European Union,” Takasu said. “Good initiatives can win the prize. That’s what I learned from the news. And that made me think about Article 9 (of the Constitution). … If we succeed and win the prize, that would be a great way to share its ideals.”
Article 9 renounces war and bans the use of force to settle international disputes — a point embraced by many Japanese as a symbol of the country’s peaceful image in much of the world.
In Japan’s defense change, context is everything
BY RICHARD FONTAINE AND JEFFREY W. HORNUNG
SPECIAL TO THE JAPAN TIMES
JULY 18, 2014
The announcement by Japan’s government that it will reinterpret the country’s constitution and permit a greater range of military activity has evoked reactions across the spectrum. From outright opposition in Beijing and suspicion in Seoul, to unqualified support in Washington and Canberra, Japan’s historic shift has sparked vigorous debate across capitals in Asia and beyond.
And while the decision to permit the Japanese Self-Defense Forces (SDF) to engage in collective self-defense represents a landmark moment in the country’s security maturation, Tokyo’s next steps will be more important still. In setting the domestic context for Japan’s new military roles, its leaders’ stance on historical issues will help determine how far its neighbors and partners will go toward supporting or opposing its security evolution.