Tue Jul 12th, 2022 at 12:49:10 PM EST
Japan's constitution and Article 9 guarantee for Pacifism died along with the death of Abe.
Death throes of an empire: nationalist spirit with advances in technology giving an edge relative to neighbouring states leads to feeling of superiority, dehumanizing other people as inferior. The ingredients for genocide and inhumane acts by a state. History repeating itself ... fascism. The fabric of a state and its culture falling outside the realm of multilateralism, going it alone. One can easily equate narrative of superiority with today's exceptionalism. All men (and women) are created equal and no false interpretation of a 250 year old constitution can change that. As the world burns and the glaciers melt.
Why Shinzo Abe faces an uphill battle to revise Japan's constitution | Brookings - Dec. 15, 2018 |
Will this revision effort succeed? It's an open question.
Part of the LDP proposal is to modify the constitution's Article 9 "peace clause," in which Japan renounces war and the maintenance of "war potential." This means the success/failure of the revision push carries significant implications for Japan and its U.S. ally. Depending on the wording, a revision could enable new military platforms, roles and missions for Japan's Self-Defense Forces.
Japan's rising right has pacifist constitution in its sights | Asia Times - Nov. 9, 2021 |
Second, the hawkish conservative Japan Innovation Party, (Nippon Ishin no Kai), won 41 seats, becoming the third-largest party in the chamber. That makes it a force to be reckoned with, and a potential booster for the right-wing ruling party, the Liberal Democratic Party, or LDP.
China lauds Japanese broadcaster for revealing Unit 731 war crimes
Arrested by the US occupation authorities at the end of World War II, Surgeon General Shiro Ishii and his protégés were to be thoroughly interrogated by the Soviet authorities, according to a 1984 BBC report.
Instead, Ishii and his team managed to negotiate and were secretly given immunity by the US in exchange for their full disclosure of germ warfare data based on human experimentation.
In a 2005 article for The Guardian, Richard Drayton, a Cambridge University history lecturer, claimed that Ishii later went to Maryland in the US to advise on bioweapons.
It has been speculated that Shiro Ishii went to Fort Detrick, which was the main center of the US biological weapons program from 1943 to 1969. Following the discontinuation of the program, the center continued to function as the hub of the country's biological defense program.
The NHK documentary has been well received in China, where there is a deep anguish over Japanese war crimes. Commentators on Chinese social media have remarked that "the recognition of war crimes is the first step toward solid Sino-Japanese relations."
United States Responses to Japanese Wartime Inhuman Experimentation after World War II: National Security and Wartime Exigency | NCBI - July 2015 |
In 1945-46, representatives of the United States government made similar discoveries in both Germany and Japan, unearthing evidence of unethical experiments on human beings that could be viewed as war crimes. The outcomes in the two defeated nations, however, were strikingly different. In Germany, the U.S., influenced by the Canadian physician John Thompson, played a key role in bringing Nazi physicians to trial and publicizing their misdeeds.
In Japan, the U.S. played an equally key role in concealing information about the biological warfare experiments and securing immunity from prosecution for the perpetrators. The greater force of appeals to national security and wartime exigency help to explain these different outcomes.
The questions of ethics and morality as they affected scientists in Japan and in the United States never once entered into a single discussion... In all the considerable documentation that has survived..., not one individual is chronicled as having said [biological warfare] human experiments were an abomination and that their perpetrators should be prosecuted.
It is informative to compare the American response in Japan with the work of one important figure in Germany, Canadian Air Force officer John W. Thompson. Thompson recognized the German experiments as war crimes that set a dangerous precedent for the scientific community, and was uniquely influential in persuading Allied authorities to act.
We first briefly summarize the experiments in the two countries, then describe Thompson's activities in postwar Germany.
Two of these justifications motivated the Japanese. They viewed the Chinese and Koreans as racially inferior. They also appealed frequently to patriotism. They were not, however, concerned about threats to Japanese racial purity; rather they simply wished to eliminate inferior populations and occupy their territories for Japanese imperialist expansion. The Japanese also argued that the prisoners used as experimental subjects, as suspected resisters and communists, would have been executed in any event.
Abe Visit to Controversial Tokyo's Yasukuni Shrine Draws Rare U.S. Criticism | WSJ - Dec. 26, 2013 |
Prime Minister Shinzo Abe's surprise visit to a shrine linked to Japan's militarist past threatens to damage ties with the U.S. and jeopardize a pillar of the White House's diplomatic and military pivot to Asia.
The outing to Tokyo's Yasukuni Shrine triggered strong criticism from Beijing and Seoul, but also a rare admonition from Washington, which has pushed the Asian neighbors to mend ties strained by territorial disputes and differences over wartime history.
"The United States is disappointed that Japan's leadership has taken an action that will exacerbate tensions with Japan's neighbors," said the U.S. Embassy in Tokyo on its website, in an unusual direct criticism of Japan's leader by its main ally.
Imperial Criticism of Shinzo Abe
How Japan's Emperor (Subtly) Criticized Shinzo Abe
Emperor Akihito expressed "deep remorse" for the war at a memorial service and "a deep and renewed sense of sorrow," he did not openly attack the somewhat ambiguous August 14 (2015) statement of Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe on the same subject - the latter's remarks were filled with rhetorical twists and did not offer a new apology to Japan's wartime victims.
It was the first time that the emperor uttered the phrase "deep remorse" at the Nippon Budokan hall in Tokyo during the annual so-called "National Memorial Service for the War Dead."
The subtle gesture of releasing the surrender speech of his father as well as pictures of the rundown bunker in which Hirohito finally admitted utter and complete military defeat can be seen as a clear indication of what Akihito thinks about Japan's devastating wartime experience, as well as Shinzo Abe's historical revisionism.
As my colleague Yuki Tatsumi already pointed out (See: "Why You Should Listen to What Japan's Emperor Says on August 15"), the emperor has identified "four dates that should not be forgotten" by the Japanese people from the watershed year 1945: June 23 (the Battle of Okinawa), August 6 (the atomic bombing of Hiroshima), August 9 (the atomic bombing of Nagasaki), and August 15 (the end of the war).
"It is most important for us to take this opportunity to study and learn from the history of this war, starting with the Manchurian Incident of 1931, as we consider the future direction of our country," Emperor Akihito already said during his 2015 New Year's address. The Manchurian Incident was a pretext for the Japanese invasion of northeastern China in 1931.
In 1936, Nobusuke Kishi, Shinzo Abe's grandfather, was sent to Manchuria to push for the industrialization of Japan's de-facto colony with the help of Chinese forced labor. After the war he was arrested as an alleged Class-A war criminal and accused of playing an instrumental part in setting up Manchuria's (back then known as Manchuko) wartime economy which was "designed to enable Japan to carry on an aggressive war." Kishi, however, was never indicted and became Japan's head of government in the 1950s. During his premiership, Kishi pushed for constitutional revision and rearmament but failed. Shinzo Abe appears to have taken up the family's baton in both instances and it is his sense of family honor that perhaps has Emperor Akihito worried the most.
Nobusuke Kishi [Abe's grandfather]did became PM in Japan around late 50s to 60s. Even though he's a outright war criminal, the NATO need a strong allies in East Asia, so Kishi a very anti communist politicians was put to power, he ratified the Treaty of Mutual Cooperation and Security between the United States and Japan with US, expanding Japan rights to defence itself and strengthen the JSDF. This again sparkled mass protest by the Japan leftist, communist and general public as they fear Japan may go to war again.
Memorandum of a Conversation, Visit Japan PM Kishi Nobusuke to White House, Washington, June 19, 1957
Japanese Emperor steps down
Japan's New Order and Greater East Asia Co-Prosperity Sphere: Planning for Empire | APJJF - Dec. 6, 2011 |
This essay examines the ideology and politics of Japanese technocrats during the Pacific War. Focusing on Kishi Nobusuke and his faction of reform bureaucrats, it analyzes how these technocrats viewed the war as an unprecedented planning opportunity to realize their vision of Japan's New Order and Asian empire.
In 1915, the theorist of technocracy Thorstein Veblen prophetically wrote about a temporary window of opportunity for Japan to combine its national spirit and recently acquired industrial technology with maximum effect in a major military offensive. Veblen predicted that the window would gradually close as modern technical advances eroded traditional notions of community and loyalty and introduced a materialistic and commercial mindset bringing about the "sabotage of capitalism."1 A quarter of a century later, however, Japanese technocrats remained exceedingly optimistic about their country's prospects for war and empire. They were determined to "overcome the modern," despite the attempts of "status quo" businessmen and bureaucrats to derail the New Order movement. They believed that more than Japan's material resources, its human resources, namely the patriotic spirit, courage, discipline, and creativity of its people, were the fount of national strength.
On August 1, 1940, Foreign Minister Matsuoka Yōsuke announced the government's policy to build a so-called "Greater East Asia Co-prosperity Sphere." The term Greater East Asia implied that in addition to the core region of Japan, Manchukuo, and China, the sphere would include Southeast Asia, Eastern Siberia, and possibly the outer regions of Australia, India, and the Pacific Islands. The new policy to expand the boundaries of Japan's empire beyond East Asia emerged after France and the Netherlands fell to Nazi Germany in the late spring of 1940 and forfeited their colonies in Southeast Asia. Japan subsequently advanced into French Indochina in June 1940. Three months later in September 1940, Japan concluded the Triple Axis Pact with Germany and Italy. When diplomacy failed to lift economic sanctions imposed by the United States, Japan attacked Pearl Harbor on December 8, 1941. These actions set the country on a course of brutal occupation of Asia and a destructive war against the United States and its allies that culminated in Japan's total defeat in 1945.
Conceptual Twist of Japanese Nuclear Policy: Its Ambivalence and Coherence Under the US Umbrella
From 1954 to 1972, when the US administration of Okinawa was returned to the Japanese authorities, US military forces installed 18 types of nuclear weapon systems in Okinawa, such as the 280 mm gun, the depth bomb, nuclear missiles like Mace and Falcon, and nuclear rockets like Honest John. The number of nuclear weapons totaled around 1300 at its peak in 1967. The US also introduced nuclear arsenals into South Korea, Taiwan, the Philippines, and Guam, in addition to Okinawa. The number of the US nuclear weapons deployed to the Asia Pacific region totaled more than 3200 at peak, which means Okinawa took the lion's share of the arsenals introduced (Norris, Arkin, and Burr, 2018).
Japan: The Anti-Treaty Narrative and the Fall of Kishi Nobusuke
Japanese Prime Minister Kishi Nobusuke became the primary target of the anti-treaty movement in 1960. Not one to take things lying down, the harder Nobusuke pushed, the worse his image and the political situation became. The more he ignored dissent, the more he further enhanced the opposition's argument that he was a man of Japan's ugly fascist past, and not a man of its democratic future.
The Kishi Effect: A Political Genealogy of Japan-ROK Relations
Ukraine war puts Japan's pacifist constitution in election spotlight | Nikkei Asia - July 4, 2022 |
Article 9 reads: "Aspiring sincerely to an international peace based on justice and order, the Japanese people forever renounce war as a sovereign right of the nation and the threat or use of force as means of settling international disputes." It also says that "land, sea, and air forces, as well as other war potential, will never be maintained."
The LDP proposes adding a clear mention of the Self-Defense Forces and self-defense measures, while maintaining Article 9's current clauses. Separately, the party wants to strengthen the capabilities of the Diet and Cabinet to respond to emergencies, and to enhance education, ensuring opportunities are available regardless of households' financial situation.
Professor Inoue cautioned that changing Article 9 may not go over well with some of Japan's Asian neighbors and could affect their own security postures.
"Article 9 of the constitution is understood in Asian countries as a promise that Japan will never invade again," he said. "Therefore, if Japan were to make it easier to use its force, some countries would be wary. Friendly countries may not think so, but countries that could be hypothetical enemies, such as China or North Korea, may use it for their own security policy."