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Manila backs rearmed Japan to balance PRC

MANILA -- The Philippines would support Japan dropping its pacifist constitution to become a fully fledged military force and act as a balance against a rising China, a government spokesman said Monday.

In an interview with the Financial Times, Foreign Secretary Albert del Rosario said the Philippines would strongly support a rearmed Japan — its World War II foe — as a counterweight to what it sees as Chinese provocation.

"We are looking for balancing factors in the region and Japan could be a significant balancing factor," he told the paper amid growing tensions over the South China Sea, almost all of which is claimed by China.

Foreign department spokesman Raul Hernandez confirmed the government's view that Japan should upgrade its military from a self defense force so that it has more freedom to operate in the region.

"(Del Rosario) said we are in favor of Japan's gaining strength," Hernandez told AFP.

Japan occupied the Philippines for more than three years from December 1941, during which suspected guerrillas were tortured and executed, and some local women forced into prostitution to serve the occupying army.

The war claimed at least a million civilian Philippine lives, according to historians.

The newspaper interview comes shortly before a general election in Japan where the front-runner, opposition leader Shinzo Abe, has said he wants to revise the country's pacifist constitution, imposed by the U.S. after the war.

Asked about the Philippine comments on Japan as a balancing force, China's foreign ministry said the idea of "containment" was out of date.

"Now it's no longer the era of the Cold War. The issue of one country containing another one does not exist," spokesman Hong Lei told a regular briefing.

Another Philippine foreign ministry official said Manila does not share the concerns of some others in the region of Japan's military past because it has shown in the years since World War II that it has become a democratic and responsible member of the international community.

Japan will hold a general election on Dec. 16 that is expected to be won by the opposition Liberal Democratic Party (LDP).

LDP leader Shinzo Abe has promised to loosen limits on the military in Japan's pacifist constitution and stand up to China over disputed isles in the East China Sea.

China claims most of the South China Sea, including waters close to the shores of its neighbors. These areas include major sea lanes and are believed to hold vast mineral and oil resources.

China's claim is contested by the Philippines as well as Brunei, Malaysia, Taiwan and Vietnam, which have overlapping claims to some or all of those same areas.

In April, Chinese patrol vessels prevented the Philippine Navy from arresting a group of Chinese fishermen at the Scarborough Shoal, which is close to the main Philippine island of Luzon and which Manila says is part of its territory.

Manila says China has continued to station patrol vessels in the area even after the Philippines withdrew its vessels and called for a peaceful resolution to the dispute according to international law.

December 11, 2012    burador3112@
JAPAN today is NOT the IMPERIAL Japan in the 30s and 40s--
December 11, 2012    fuckthephilippines@
Filipinos themselves were victims of the Japanese during WWII. Have they so easily forgotten the same way they forgot what the Marcoses did to them during the Martial law years? Either they forgive easily or they should brush up on again on their History books. The Japanese themselves rewrite them and feed erroneous facts to their descendants. And now you want them to rearm again??? Wake up, Philippines!!!
December 12, 2012    agree@
@fuckthephilippines You are absolutely right ! And rearming a race that had been known to cause a lot of human atrocities won't do the world any good! Filipinos are well known for taking sides even though they are outlandish. They are famous for asking countries to come to their aid when they themselves can't take out the trash by themselves.
December 12, 2012    supotpinoy@
This Filipinos kiss the azz of the Japs, that once kicked their azz.
December 12, 2012    China4ever@
If the Japs think they can do to China 2012 and beyond what they did in ww2, they will be wiped off the face of the earth. Even if the US were to fight with the Japs, China can hit back with devastating force.
As for the US sending carriers to the Taiwan straits, they will be sent to the bottom of the seas .This is China 2012 not 1996. Get real, China aint pushing for a fight but will defend its homeland. The Filipinos better put their own house in order and not divert attention from the economic woes of the common people.
December 13, 2012    fuckthephilippines@
The Chinese Liberation Army is the largest army in the world. In case of a land war, I don't believe there's any army on earth that can withstand its prowess. The CLA is a dedicated bunch and will fight to the death. The US likes to meddle in everyone's affairs and seems to take the status of "Police of the World" with so much ass-pride. Well, they have met their match this time. The Chinese are no longer the pushovers of old if the Americans like to think so. As for the Japs -- beware the Chinese--vengeance for what you did at Nanking and elsewhere in China will come about with wrath that you have never seen before !!!
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