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Japan "proudly" withdraws from Iraq

by tuasfait Mon Jun 19th, 2006 at 10:33:08 PM EST

First, the good news. Koizumi is about to announce (Tuesday is a cabinet meeting day) that he will withdraw all ground troops from Iraq soon. It is great to know they did not kill any Iraqi, as far as I know.

Now the bad news:

  1. This sets a precedent for Japanese hearts and minds that they have successfully(?) sent and managed armed troops for foreign occupation. In the Japanese history, we were always beaten out of foreign land previously. According to the choreographed government noise machine, the official story is that Koizumi now finds the "conditions for withdrawal" have been met as the Iraqi government takes over the security responsibilities in the region. (Or Bush gave consent, more precisely.)

  2. The government's claim of "success" that Japan, for the first time in the post-WWII history, took part in armed occupation, and showed its resolve not to "surrender to terror" is reverberating among the people who are obsessed with North Korea, and media who continuously fed us with good news of welcome from friendly Iraqi people.


  1. Utter inability of the left to change the course of the most devastating event of the 21st century. Unfortunately, today's announcement has nothing to do (overtly) with the muted opposition to the occupation from the left.

  2. Hypnotized by the media story, Japan will be eager to join Australia and Poland in a next adventure America may launch.

  3. The price. Japan is reportedly committed to pay the US 30 billion dollars as "relocation costs" of American troops in the Asia region. But who knows how the money will be spent? My guess is they will (pre)pay Haliburton and send us invoices for reimbursement. I wouldn't be suprised at all if they would be paid twice for Iraq. I would be even less surprised if the next Democratic president would try to force us to pay even more.

Thanks for bringing this to our attention. A military friend of mine believes the next "cold war" will be between the ever nationalistic Japan and China...fed by Western nations who will resolve their debts to Japan and China by giving them arms. It is not too far fetched of a view, sadly...

"Once in awhile we get shown the light, in the strangest of places, if we look at it right" - Hunter/Garcia
by whataboutbob on Tue Jun 20th, 2006 at 04:16:08 AM EST
An American whom I met last week has a wide range of experiences in Europe, Asia and elsewhere. She told me what's going on in this part of Asia is a "peaceful Middle East-type crisis where no one can get over the history."

I will become a patissier, God willing.
by tuasfait on Tue Jun 20th, 2006 at 04:49:41 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I highly doubt it.  As tuasfait pointed out, the history shared by the two countries is ugly, but a Cold-War-like situation is highly unlikely.  For one thing, China's the only country with nukes in that faceoff.  Any kind of war between Japan and China could not end in anything but an incredible defeat for Japan.  its standing army alone is enough to convince me of that.

I'd like to think we're moving beyond those sorts of confrontations, but, then again, I'm an American, and my government is the one that always seems to enjoy proving me wrong.

Be nice to America. Or we'll bring democracy to your country.

by Drew J Jones (pedobear@pennstatefootball.com) on Tue Jun 20th, 2006 at 09:58:49 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Regarding 5, it is a subsidisation of the US military however clean they may spend the money. It allows the US military to spend US tax money elsewhere.

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Tue Jun 20th, 2006 at 05:40:09 AM EST
BTW, tuasfait, 3 made me thinking -- could you chart for us briefly the Japanese political landscape on the left at present, if possible with current poll numbers for the leftist parties?

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Tue Jun 20th, 2006 at 05:41:26 AM EST
Here is a link to an English version of an April 2006 political polls:

LDP (Koizumi and pro-Bush conservatives): 38%
Democratic Party of Japan (major opposition): 17%
Komeito (Soka gakkai, an LDP ally): 3%
Communists: 2%
Social Democrats: 2%
No preference: 34%

Unfortunately, DPJ is about as progressive as Hillary or Biden, and, what's more, they don't have any philosophy, oscillating between market capitalism and populism.

The clear left messaging is largely absent in the mainstream parties. The Social Democrats (once a mainstream labor party) damaged itself badly from its association with North Korea. They also lost organized labor's support.

I will become a patissier, God willing.

by tuasfait on Tue Jun 20th, 2006 at 12:07:39 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Are there japanese opinion polls about these questionS?
by Laurent GUERBY on Sun Jul 2nd, 2006 at 08:18:39 AM EST

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