I Thought We All Agreed This Was a Bad Idea
As a resident of Bush's Amurka, I have exactly no moral high ground from which to bitch about any nation taking up the projects of (re)armament or "defensive" preemptive strikes. I'm also a poor student of Japanese and Asian history. But I've been told that the "whole point" of the NK posturing is to create circumstances in which Japan can reenter the world stage as a military power by people I think would be in at least a partial position to know. Further, I'm not at all sanguine about a lot of the language and posturing coming from an increasingly frustrated and stagnant Japanese society and leadership. This is the age of the waking Chinese Dragon, and it's logical that Japan, given their history, would seek some ways in which to counter that, even if said counter is a really, really stupid idea:
A Pre-emptive Strike From Japan? Possible NorK Nuke Test?
A pre-emptive strike from Japan? Here's what the Nelson report has to say:
But Japan today also added fuel to a possible fire, with the increasingly expected next-Prime Minister, Chief Cabinet Secretary Shinzo Abe, warning that Japan has the constitutional right to strike N. Korea, to preempt a pending attack. While clearly conservative, Abe is not a â€œbomb throwing right wingerâ€, notes a US analyst. â€œSo coming from a senior political figure at this time is important, especially if you consider that even five years ago, it would have been considered â€˜irresponsibly dangerousâ€™ for an academic to urge such action as justified under the â€˜peace constitutionâ€™ and â€˜self-defenseâ€™.â€
I've been watching this debate about Japan's defense posture with interest for the last year or so and was skeptical, but this today, and knowing a bit about how Japanese society functions. I'm beginning to think the analysts might be right.
But here is the real kicker form tonight's Report, also found at Nautilus Institute:â€œIn effect,â€ Hayes warned, â€œKim Jong-il is preparing his own people now for a nuclear test. The KCNA piece was broadcast to the domestic population on North Korean radio.â€
In the essay posted on the Nautilus Instituteâ€™s Policy Forum Online, noted above, Hayes added: â€œNorth Koreaâ€™s missile test was a strategic non-issue. Making a big deal out of it simply enabled the US to delay dealing with the real issue [serious US-DPRK negotiations to defuse the crisis] and made it more likely that North Korea will now test its nuclear weapons. Thus, the outcome of North Koreaâ€™s nuclear challenge once again hangs in the balance.â€
As an added bonus click on the pic for a video from CNN about Japanese intentions.
Sean-Paul has the live links to the report and video.
Rising militarism around the world is a bad idea, period. The Japanese have every right to worry about what North Korea may or may not (be able to) do with its missiles, but to me it's a simple matter. There are already several well armed nuclear powers involved in this mess, all of whom rely on the Japanese economy and banking system in one way or another. The smart play would be to remain the "unarmed" player in all this, and let the clout of money do the talking. I still remember the Japanese presence in Iraq, and at the time I wondered if that was to push open a door to a remilitarized Japan. But I suppose the North Korean excuse is a "better" one.
Also, if the analysis is correct, this is a head-slapping moment for the diplomats. Playing right into He Be Lil' Illin' Kim's hands...wow, when did our elder statesmen get so fraking stupid? examining irradiated Asian sphere "Wow, we could've had a V-8(rocket making NK) instead!"
...seriously- c'mon guys: we don't want to go here, again. Sit down at the fucking table and hammer something out. All it takes is more rice and a little oil. Just give it to him.