Japan Institute for National Fundamentals

Speaking out

Yoshiko Sakurai

【#1000】Japanese Should Stand up Heroically

Yoshiko Sakurai / 2023.01.18 (Wed)

January 16, 2023

The challenge for Japan and the world in 2023 is to prevent Taiwan from becoming a second Ukraine. China’s invasion of Taiwan will naturally lead to the invasion of Japan. We must develop strong deterrence with sufficient military and economic strength. At the same time, Japan should break away from the situation in which Japan was called by Zbigniew Brzezinski, national security adviser to former U.S. President Jimmy Carter, as a de facto “American protectorate.” To this end, Japan should prepare national security and economy this year, assuming that a war might break out.

Constitutional amendment is indispensable to break with postwar era

Russia’s war of aggression against Ukraine and China’s potential invasion into Taiwan as a matter of global concern essentially demonstrate not only their expansion of power but also their ambition to rewrite global order. Chinese President Xi Jinping has declared “A Community of Common Destiny for Mankind” lies ahead. China is confident that now that the United States is on decline, with Western democracy failing to work, Chinese values should constitute the basis of global order.

In the face of looming Chinese threats, Prime Minister Fumio Kishida has published three new national security documents, overwriting the current constitution’s consistent pacifism and the idea of Article 9-2 that says: “Land, sea, and air forces, as well as other war potential, will never be maintained. The right of belligerency of the state will not be recognized.” The national security documents indicate Japan has stood on new ground of breaking with the postwar constraints as the late former Prime Minister Shinzo Abe advocated, and begun to engage in enhancing military cooperation with the United States. At last, we are breaking away from the infamous position of a de facto American protectorate.

In fact, the breakaway depends on future efforts. If Japan increases defense spending to 2% of gross domestic product, but ends up enhancing military power only as a complement to U.S. forces, the country may mentally remain under American protection. Therefore, it is indispensable for Japan to amend the constitution and related laws as an independent nation in addition to the dramatic increase of military capabilities.

Don’t become a client state of China

Japan should deepen its alliance with the U.S. to counter Chinese threats. But this is not enough. Japan should also implement its economic security strategy seamlessly to prevent itself from being apprehended by China.

Japan is still selling national lands to Chinese and allowing Chinese to invest in its electric grid as a source of energy. If Japan, which continues to invest in China to secure immediate small profits, continues to allow China to control the Japanese economy’s linchpin, it may become a client state that cannot survive without watching out for China.

Japan is neither a protectorate nor a client state. Between the Meiji Restoration and the 1945 war defeat, Japanese people, though being gentle, stood up heroically in emergency situations. Japanese people’s profound power is inherent in the history that our predecessors created and handed over to us. This year, we should demonstrate that power to contribute to the world.

Yoshiko Sakurai is President, Japan Institute for National Fundamentals.