10 Updates
A Dangerous WSJ Column On 'Collective' U.S.-Japan Defense

A Dangerous WSJ Column On 'Collective' U.S.-Japan Defense

Feb 13 2014, 3:03am CST | by

Warning: Reading The Wall Street Journal on China-Japan relations is dangerous to your intellectual health. Exhibit: the Review & Outlook (Asia) column entitled “A ‘Collective’ U.S.-Japan...

Filed under: news

 
 
 

23 weeks ago

A Dangerous WSJ Column On 'Collective' U.S.-Japan Defense

Feb 13 2014, 3:03am CST | by

Warning: Reading The Wall Street Journal on China-Japan relations is dangerous to your intellectual health. Exhibit: the Review & Outlook (Asia) column entitled “A ‘Collective’ U.S.-Japan Defense” published on February 5, 2014.

What kind of East Asia do the people of this region yearn for and deserve? No thought is required to answer:  a region of harmony, peace and security.

That the editors of the Wall Street Journal do hot share this view, do not sympathize with it, or do not believe that it is possible, is evident in this column. Like an unfortunately large number of foreign interested parties, the WSJ seems able to conceive of only two conditions of Asian interstate relations:  armed-to-the-teeth standoff Cold War, or hot war.

An unchallengeable U.S.-Japan military alliance as the “cornerstone” of the U.S. and Japanese relations, and military power as the principle (or at least the key) element in political relations, are the organizing principles for both U.S. and Japanese bi-lateral and regional policy,  according to the WSJ’s view.

That the WSJ is faithfully representing the Pentagon and the rest of the U.S. and Japanese political-military-industrial complexes is obvious.

Also obvious is that the WSJ’s view–again, unfortunately, representing a broad range of deeply entrenched bureaucratic, political and economic vested interests–creates a convenient self-fulfilling prophesy, as a “national security” militarized approach and mentality by Japan and the U.S. inevitably engenders a militarized response from the regional counterparties–especially (as everyone must and does expect) China.

In the February 5 column, the WSJ writes:

“U.S. and Chinese officials continue to spar over China’s recent declaration of a huge new air-defense zone, which makes even more important Shinzo Abe’s move to reinterpret the Japanese constitution and end a 67-year ban on collective self-defense….

“Because of the way the constitution’s Article 9 is interpreted now, Japanese forces could do nothing to help the U.S. if it were under attack. That’s especially relevant given North Korea’s nuclear and missile programs….”

The point is correctly made that the U.S.-Japan “Mutual Defense Treaty” has never really been “mutual.” Article 9 prohibits Japan from possessing army, navy, or air forces and foreswears the use of force to resolve international disputes. The “interpretation” of the Constitution that has allowed “self defense forces” is clearly a violation of both the letter and spirit of the constitution.

The WSJ column continues:

“The two countries are now revising their bilateral defense guidelines, and past revisions have expanded Japan’s role in support of U.S. operations in a regional crisis… and the U.S. has in the past urged Japan to move toward collective self-defense….”

Yes, U.S. pressure on Japan’s military to build or buy more weapons, increase troop levels, expand missions, and generally to increasingly adopt an offensive, rather than defensive capability and raison d’etre is long standing. (And this is always ‘incremental’ within the alliance. Never considered is a substantial reduction in U.S. forces or bases in Japan or in the USD 2 billion paid annually by Japan to the Pentagon. On the contrary, in the case the “relocation” of the Futenma U.S. Marine airbase what is really happening is building of a huge new base the use of which will be unrestricted.)

With the Pentagon and, now, under Abe, Tokyo defense bureaucracies, the only choice is between more and deadlier armaments and offensive reach, and much more of both. “Collective defense” would have Japan attacking and submitting itself to attacks in circumstances where it had not been attacked first and could have avoided hostilities.

The WSJ continues with painfully familiar breast-beating, Cold War rhetoric:

“The principle that democracies should band together to face the threat of dictatorships is a linchpin of the post-World War II world order…The rise of China is putting stress on this Pax Americana, as the Obama Administration’s ‘pivot’ implicitly acknowledges. Washington now needs its allies to work cooperatively, not merely as spokes on a security wheel.”

And, so there can be no mistake, this line:/>/>

“…. A coalition of democracies could be a more effective counterweight to China’s encroaching militarism.”

We must ask: “More effective that what?” “The status quo?” The WSJ is blind to the militarism of its own mentality and approach, as well as to the essential militarism of the U.S. alliance system in Asia, with its “cornerstone” of U.S. bases, including the headquarters and the Seventh Fleet, and some 100,000 force personnel in Japan and South Korea.

But it is not militarism that most concerns the WSJ, it is the absence of militarism and the desire of almost all the people in Japan to avoid war, a people who–unlike most Americans–know the horrors of modern war in their own country.

The WSJ continues:  “….Japan can fill the breach if it can navigate the tricky politics. The majority of the Japanese public is against collective self-defense…. While Mr. Abe probably can get the votes, New Komeito might then leave the government. One possible scenario is a reorganization of Japan’s parties in which right-of-center elements in the opposition come over to the LDP.”

This may, indeed, happen. Abe, seizing the chance provided by the crisis in relations with China–a crisis caused by Japan’s “nationalization” of the Senkaku/Diaoyu islands and exacerbated by U.S. policies–may succeed in getting the constitutional “reinterpretation” he wants to permit “collective defense” with the U.S.

But this will be a great and grave (though not uncorrectable) mistake. What most Japanese believe is that modern war is, and must remain, unconscionable and unthinkable, a non-option. They are right and just to so believe.

The natural and correct path for Japan today and tomorrow is pacifism and essential neutrality between the United States and China. Advancing along this path requires abrogating the U.S.-Japan “alliance,” not expanding it through a doctrine of “collective defense.”

Abe’s “collective defense” initiative should be defeated, and the Cold Warriors at the WSJ should be retired.

Source: Forbes Business

 
Update
10

7 weeks ago

RM47mil KWSG contributions still unclaimed

Jun 9 2014 7:54am CDT | Source: Business Times Malaysia

KUALA LUMPUR: About RM47 million of contributions in the Teachers Provident Fund (KWSG) still remain unclaimed, the Dewan ...
Source: Business Times Malaysia   Full article at: Business Times Malaysia
 

 
Update
9

7 weeks ago

Gold shop lost almost RM1mil

Jun 9 2014 3:50am CDT | Source: Business Times Malaysia

KANGAR: A gold shop owner lost almost RM1 million after after the safe on in his shop was broken into b ...
Source: Business Times Malaysia   Full article at: Business Times Malaysia
 

 
Update
8

7 weeks ago

Motion to debate MAS losses in Dewan Rakyat rejected

Jun 9 2014 3:39am CDT | Source: Business Times Malaysia

KUALA LUMPUR: AN emergency motion to debate the losses incurred by Malaysia Airlines last year, amounting to RM1.2 billion was rejected b ...
Source: Business Times Malaysia   Full article at: Business Times Malaysia
 

 
Update
7

7 weeks ago

MH370 Tragedy: Hisham: RM27.6 mil spent on 1st phase of SAR

Jun 9 2014 2:11am CDT | Source: Business Times Malaysia

KUALA LUMPUR: Malaysia spent some RM27.6 million in its first phase of the search operations for missing Malaysia Airline flight MH370, said Acting Transport Minister, Datuk Seri Hish ...
Source: Business Times Malaysia   Full article at: Business Times Malaysia
 

 
Update
6

7 weeks ago

9.1m litres of diesel seized in a month

Jun 8 2014 1:11am CDT | Source: Business Times Malaysia

PUTRAJAYA: The Domestic Trade, Cooperatives, and Consumerism ministry has seized some 9.1 million litres of diesel and property worth RM58 million since mounting ‘Operasi Diesel Selatan’ in the southern ...
Source: Business Times Malaysia   Full article at: Business Times Malaysia
 

 
Update
5

7 weeks ago

Girl, 9, awarded RM2.78m compensation for medical negligence

Jun 6 2014 4:56am CDT | Source: Business Times Malaysia

KUALA LUMPUR: A nine-year-old girl who suffered brain damage during her birth at a government hospital was awarded over RM2.78 million in com ...
Source: Business Times Malaysia   Full article at: Business Times Malaysia
 

 
Update
4

7 weeks ago

Malaysia's total trade in April up 12pc

Jun 5 2014 11:52pm CDT | Source: Business Times Malaysia

KUALA LUMPUR: Malaysia's total trade in April 2014 rose by 12 per cent from a year ago to RM123.86 billion due to growing trading activities, International Trade and Industry Minister Datuk Seri ...
Source: Business Times Malaysia   Full article at: Business Times Malaysia
 

 
Update
3

7 weeks ago

Works Ministry to spend RM20m for upgrading works at 50 accident black spots

Jun 4 2014 11:35pm CDT | Source: Business Times Malaysia

JOHOR BARU: The Works Ministry will implement upgrading works at 50 accident prone locations in the country that have been identified this year invo ...
Source: Business Times Malaysia   Full article at: Business Times Malaysia
 

 
Update
2

7 weeks ago

Najib launches loan scheme for Ramadan traders

Jun 4 2014 10:24pm CDT | Source: Business Times Malaysia

PUTRAJAYA: Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak today launches RM45 million Ramadan Baza ...
Source: Business Times Malaysia   Full article at: Business Times Malaysia
 

 
Update
1

8 weeks ago

Residents bring up objection against Kidex to Suhakam

Jun 4 2014 4:49am CDT | Source: Business Times Malaysia

PETALING JAYA: A group of 20 Petaling Jaya residents held a meeting with the Human Rights Commission of Malaysia (Suhakam) over their objection against the proposed RM2.2 billion Kinrara ...
Source: Business Times Malaysia   Full article at: Business Times Malaysia
 

 

Don't miss ...

 

<a href="/latest_stories/all/all/30" rel="author">Forbes</a>
Forbes is among the most trusted resources for the world's business and investment leaders, providing them the uncompromising commentary, concise analysis, relevant tools and real-time reporting they need to succeed at work, profit from investing and have fun with the rewards of winning.

 

blog comments powered by Disqus

Latest stories

OPEC daily basket price closes tad higher
Vienna, July 30 (IANS) The basket of 12 crude oils of the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) stood at $105.44 a barrel Tuesday, against $105.22 last Thursday, according to the OPEC Secretariat.
 
 
Moscow calls US sanctions 'illegitimate'
Moscow, July 30 (IANS) The economic sanctions imposed by the United States are a revenge on Russia, the country's foreign ministry said Wednesday.
 
 
EU boosts funding to fight Ebola epidemic
Brussels, July 30 (IANS) The European Union Wednesday allocated an additional 2 million euros ($2.68 million) in aid to tackle the Ebola epidemic in West Africa.
 
 
Top doctor in Sierra Leone dies of Ebola
Nairobi, July 30 (IANS/EFE) Sierra Leone's top Ebola virus doctor, Sheikh Umar Khan, died a few days after contracting the lethal disease which has claimed the lives of 672 people in Western Africa, health authorities in Sierra Leone announced Wednesday.
 
 
 

Latest from the Network

Jessica Simpson wants to be thinner?
Jessica Simpson is allegedly eager to lose more weight. The Weight Watchers spokesperson, who lost 50 pounds before marrying Eric Johnson in Montecito, California earlier this month, is said to be determined to stick to...
Read more on Celebrity Balla
 
Chris Pratt's son brought him closer to Anna Faris
Chris Pratt says his premature baby boy brought him closer to his wife, Anna Faris. The 'Guardians of the Galaxy' star and the 37-year-old actress welcomed their son, Jack, into the world nine weeks early in August 2012...
Read more on Celebrity Balla
 
Drew Barrymore pays tribute to late half-sister
Drew Barrymore has paid tribute to her estranged older half-sister, who was found dead on Tuesday (07.29.14). The 39-year-old actress offered her sympathies to her extended family after Jessica Barrymore, whom she only...
Read more on Celebrity Balla
 
G7 warns Russia faces more sanctions
London, July 31 (IANS) The G7 leaders in a joint statement Wednesday said Russia will face further economic sanctions if it continued to support rebels in Ukraine. The warning came after the EU added eight more...
Read more on Politics Balla
 
Kim Kardashian slams Rob's ex-girlfriend
London, July 31 (IANS) Reality TV star Kim Kardashian has hit out at brother Rob Kardashian's ex-girlfriend Adrienne Bailon for bad mouthing her sibling. Talking to a Latina magazine, the actress-and-singer, who dated...
Read more on Celebrity Balla
 
Kohli's significant dinner date with Vaughan (Analysis)
Southampton, July 31 (IANS/RAY) Tuesday night, India batsman and vice-captain Virat Kohli had dinner with Michael Vaughan, former England captain, at a Brazilian restaurant in Southampton. This was revealed by the...
Read more on Sport Balla
 
Few Americans believe US winning fight against terror: Poll
Washington, July 31 (IANS) Belief that the US is winning the fight against terrorism has dropped to its lowest level in more than a decade of regular tracking, a poll has found. A new Rasmussen Reports national...
Read more on Politics Balla
 
Simon Cowell will be a great dad: Ex-girlfriend
Los Angeles, July 31 (IANS) Former Playboy model Carmen Electra says that her ex-boyfriend, Simon Cowell, will be a great father to his son Eric. The 54-year-old music mogul and his girlfriend, Lauren Silverman,...
Read more on Celebrity Balla
 
Reach out to others as friends: UN chief
United Nations, July 31 (IANS) UN Secretary-General Ban Ki- moon has called upon all to reach out to one another as friends and build long-term foundations for lasting peace in the time of mistrust and violence....
Read more on Politics Balla
 
When Rita Ora forgot her lines
Los Angeles, July 31 (IANS) Singer Rita Ora found acting "difficult" as she kept forgetting her lines while filming her scenes for the upcoming erotica "Fifty Shades of Grey". The 23-year-old singer, who is playing...
Read more on Celebrity Balla