Wednesday, December 27, 2006
Japanese remilitarization continues
For years the U.S. government has urged the Japanese government to abandon the pacifist constitution that the U.S. imposed upon it at the end of World War II and reawaken a proper martial spirit. The U.S. is no doubt pushing even harder since Japan has decided to keep a token force in Iraq for one more year but to avoid combat unless directly attacked.
Many are concerned that the Iraq mission could spell the end for the pacifist article of the country's constitution.
This forever renounces war, and strictly speaking, forbids Japan from even keeping a military force.
Forever renounce war? That doesn't sound like the kind of government we can support. It would ruin the arms industry.
Well, things are looking up—
Japan's upper house of parliament has voted to upgrade the country's defence agency to a full ministry.
And what good is a war machine without some good old-fashioned jingoistic patriotism to go along with it?
The upper house also passed a bill that requires schools to teach patriotism in the classroom.
Both moves have caused unease among Japan's Asian neighbours, who remember Japanese militarism last century.
Opponents are wary because Japan's military leaders used patriotism to justify the expansion which led in part to WWII, and they also fear a resurgence of Japanese nationalism.
It's beginning to look like another Bush administration foreign policy coup.
[Japanese Prime Minister] Abe says Japan's education system - unchanged since 1947 - has not done enough to address "moral values, ethics and self-discipline".
I don't know when the military became the prime vehicle for promoting ethics and morals, but is this what he has in mind?