Stimulated by North Korea’s aggressive nuclear rhetoric, Japan is replying in kind. So far, it’s only talk—but the world should take warning that the balance of power in the Far East is presently up for grabs, and Japan is in for the taking.
Britain’s Independent wrote, “Japan’s defense minister has stressed his country’s right to strike North Korean missile sites if an attack is thought imminent. In an exclusive interview, Shigeru Ishiba told the Independent, ‘The Japanese constitution permits my position. Attacking North Korea after a missile attack on Japan is too late. …’ Intelligence officials estimate that North Korea has at least 100 Rodong ballistic missiles capable of striking Japan” (Sept. 15).
The irony here is that the Bush administration’s touting of “preemptive” warfare in the ongoing war against terror is being seized upon by nations such as Japan to warn enemies that they may expect similar action if it is perceived that an enemy strike against their shores may be imminent.
In Asia, the prospect of a resurgent militaristic Japan does not sit well. “The prospect of a newly aggressive Japan, which already boasts annual military expenditure of almost £25 billion [us$40 billion]—25 percent larger than Britain’s—worries its neighbors, who have bitter memories of the Second World War. …
“A number of senior politicians have recently floated the idea of Japan developing its own nuclear weapons …” (ibid.).
Japan’s economy is in the doldrums. Yet, any new expansionary vision, should it be given credence by the Japanese electorate, could stimulate industry with a new drive toward full rearmament, giving Japan the economic recovery it has sought for the past decade.
Watch Japan, as it climbs slowly out of its economic slough, rebound with a renewed sense of nationalism driving a return to a new militarism in the guise of “self-defense”—with the full support and backing of the U.S.