Japan Institute for National Fundamentals

Speaking out

Tadae Takubo

【#472】Japan Can No Longer Depend on U.S.

Tadae Takubo / 2017.10.12 (Thu)

October 10, 2017

     Prime Minister Shinzo Abe dissolved the powerful House of Representatives for a snap election, realizing that Japanese people’s sense of crisis as a whole is very low even in the face of the unprecedented threat emanating from North Korea’s nuclear and missile development. A significant portion of Japanese citizens are indifferent to the growing tension in the Korean Peninsula.
     Regrettably, the present Japanese constitution and the so-called MacArthur note that provided basis for the constitution have aimed to deprive the Japanese of the spirit of independence and self-reliance. Most of the Japanese may believe that U.S. forces would eventually defend Japan if Japan is attacked by a foreign country.

Pledge with apology no longer works
     Hiroshima and Nagasaki were attacked with atomic bombs targeting ordinary citizens. There are two possible responses to such attacks. In one response, Japan could possess nuclear weapons of its own and get determined to launch nuclear attacks in retaliation for next such attacks. In another response, Japan could concede that the Japanese suffered such damage because they were bad and bow and pledge not to repeat such mistakes. Japan chose the latter response, writing an apology on the Cenotaph for the A-bomb Victims. In the emerging international situation, such response does not work.
     The Korean Peninsula crisis is moving towards a certain outcome. Sanctions may lead to a sign of a regime collapse in North Korea. Or, some incident may trigger a hot war on the peninsula. Anyway, a unified nuclear nation will emerge on the peninsula over a medium to long term.
     Surrounded by nuclear powers such as Russia, China, a unified Korea, India, Pakistan and the United States, could Japan be complacent with one-country pacifism? Might Japan enter a humiliating age in which the Japanese would suffer nuclear intimidation and hang on neighboring countries’ smiles?
Shadow of isolationists
     U.S. well-known isolationist Patrick Buchanan, who has influences on President Donald Trump, says that the United States does not have to respond to Chinese or North Korean threats but should leave Japan and South Korea to do so, noting that South Korean gross domestic product is 40 times as much as North Korean GDP and Japanese GDP is 100 times as much and that military spending accounts for 25% of GDP in North Korea, for 2.6% in South Korea and for 1% or less in Japan.
     I do not know if President Trump would adopt Buchanan’s idea for his policy, but I suspect they share the same basic thought. People who call for protecting the Japanese constitution or preach its Article 9 immediately after hearing the word of military might well be secretly depending on the United States. Those who are too silly to find that the United States is no longer the global leader seen 72 years ago are beyond saving.

Tadae Takubo is Vice President, Japan Institute for National Fundamentals