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Yoshiko Sakurai

【#280】Make 2015 a Year for Building Equal Relationship with U.S. and China

Yoshiko Sakurai / 2015.01.08 (Thu)

January 5, 2015

     In the year 2015 marking the 70th anniversary of the end of World War II, I would strongly like Japan to brighten its prospects.
     From early spring to early summer this year, two beautiful indigenous Japanese aircraft -- the ATD-X Shinshin stealth fighter and the MRJ medium-sized civilian jet -- should make their maiden flights in Japanese sky. The Japanese aircraft industry is about to resume its full operation after being prohibited from building aircraft for seven years from the end of the war and remaining under various constraints later. This case represents one of indications of Japan's revival.

F-2 development episode
     Even the United States and China that have gone ahead of Japan in developing stealth aircraft cannot be secure without Japanese technology. Japan has one of the world's most advanced stealth technologies. Japan can make assertions on an equal footing with other countries only when it has excellent technologies and strengths, as indicated by former Defense Minister Itsunori Onodera who cited a Japan-U.S. project for developing the F-2 fighter aircraft for the Japanese Air Self-Defense Force in his remarks on January 2.
     In the final phase of the F-2 development, the United States refused to provide a flight source code or a computer-controlled program to fly the fighter, Onodera said. Even if the aircraft body were completed, it could not fly without the code. Japan had no choice but to develop the code on its own. “At the moment” of Japan’s development of the code, the United States offered to sell its code more cheaply than the original asking price, he said.
     This means that Japan cannot build fair relationship with any country without technology, strength or preparation to get an equal footing to it. At a time when the international community is undergoing tectonic shift, not only the Japanese aircraft industry but also Japan itself should get an equal footing to its foreign counterparts.

Japan's revival is the key
     In an apparent bid to destroy such Japanese approach, China has offered to cooperate with South Korea in making 2015 a year for “celebrating a victory in anti-Japan war and the restoration of the Korean Peninsula's independence.” China has also joined hands with Russia to designate the year for “commemorating the victory against German fascism and Japanese militarism.” China will intensify a verbal war with Japan over the interpretation of history and focus on Japan-bashing with groundless accusation of her history.
     Such Chinese offensive has provided Japan with a heaven-given good opportunity. Facing South Korea's fabrication of the comfort women problem and China's fabrication of the Nanjing incident deviating far from facts, Japanese citizens have begun to take a new look at history. Young Japanese people are paying attention to and learning history, after failing to learn historical facts at school or home and remaining unaware of and indifferent to such facts.
     In the international community, misunderstanding about Japan has been spreading. At the same time, however, doubts have been growing over Chinese assertions. While waging the verbal war over the interpretation of history coolly and wisely, Japan should make 2015 a year for building an equal relationship with the United States as an eastern neighbor and China as a western neighbor. To this end, Japan must revive itself. The Japan Institute for National Fundamentals would like to become a strong force to solve specific challenges toward constitutional amendments as an ultimate way to revive Japan.

Yoshiko Sakurai is President, Japan Institute for National Fundamentals.