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Is Japan on the road to becoming militaristic again?

Last Tuesday, Prime Minister Shinzo Abe took part in a ceremony marking the anniversary of the atomic bombing of Hiroshima in 1945, an event which, combined with the following atomic bombing of Nagasaki, compelled Japan to surrender nine days later on Aug. 15, ending the Second World War.

Also on Tuesday last week, Japan launched its largest warship since the war. The vessel was launched at Yokohama, where Commodore Mathew Perry came with his U.S. Asiatic fleet in 1853 to open Japan to the West. The 250-meter-long Izumo looks like an aircraft carrier, though officially it is a destroyer. Well, it's a flat-top super-destroyer that carries 14 helicopters with a flight deck where combat aircraft that can vertically take off and land can be accommodated. The new vessel shares the same name as the famed Japanese cruiser which played a pivotal part in the Shanghai War of 1937, withstanding repeated Chinese attacks.

In May, Abe offended China and South Korea by tacitly denying Japan's imperialist aggression toward its Asian neighbors. The Japanese leader stated that there is no established definition of invasion, either academically or internationally.

Around the same time, he posed for a photo in the cockpit of a military training jet fighter emblazoned with the number 731, the unit number of an infamous Imperial Army group that conducted lethal chemical and biological wartime experiments on Chinese civilians. Moreover, Abe has reportedly moved to permit the use of the rising sun banner, a symbol of horror to Asian victims of Japanese colonial aggression.

On top of all this, Abe's Liberal Democratic Party, buoyed by its landslide victory in the elections of the Upper House of the Diet, is planning to send practically all its parliamentarians on Thursday to the Yasukuni Shrine in Tokyo to pay homage to the war dead, including General Hideki Tojo and other Class A war criminals. Plans are afoot to revise Japan's postwar peace constitution to assert its right to declare war and rename the self-defense forces as the national “defense forces,” the dropping of “self-defense” implying the forces may be engaged in action other than genuine self-defense.

August 14, 2013    ric_stealth@
Is Japan become militaristic? Yes, absolutely! Who cares? China is become militaristic, too, trying to land grab the Philippine Spratly Islands!
August 14, 2013    ludahai_twn@
China has only itself to blame for this state of affairs.
August 15, 2013    Mrmccaffery@
Agree that Japan only wants the capability to defend itself against an unpredictable and nuclear armed North Korea as well as an expansionist China. Ironically, it is China, not Japan who resemble Imperial 1930's Japan: one-party state-check; expansionist policy targeting natural resources-check; military modernization program focused on naval power-check; territorial occupations against competing neighbors-check; aggrieved sense of national 'return to greatness'- check. No wonder Japan is worried, they should know what comes next better than anyone!
August 15, 2013    type_z@
Japan is arming itself BECAUSE of Chinese aggression. Japan is not Tibet. The last time Japan and China went to war, Japan ran the table. If the Chinese are stupid enough to try again, the next war will make the last war look like a near run thing. It is possible for the Japanese Navy to eliminate the Chinese Navy without losing any ships. Technology is the god of war in the 21st century. China is a low tech 5hithole.
Can't even build turbines.
So long as the Chinese military is a source of revenue for the powerful China is no threat to any 1st or even second rate power.
August 16, 2013    edann77@
"... idealists who are to be found in almost every Government, who deprecate expenditure on armaments, and, in the course of time, it will almost certainly result in this country being caught at a disadvantage." - Maurice Hankey

Every state has the right to defend itself. However, to say "never" is such a foolish statement. Only God can make such a prediction. Throughout history humans have used such statements, and have been proven wrong. Insightful editorials don't issue decrees. Don't try to be a dictator when trying to make an argument or you'll lose credibility.
August 16, 2013    cloggedwithguts@
ludahai_twn@ wrote:
China has only itself to blame for this state of affairs.
Definitely sounds like it's from a redneck perspective...
August 17, 2013    superkinez@
type_z@ wrote:
Japan is arming itself BECAUSE of Chinese aggression. Japan is not Tibet. The last time Japan and China went to war, Japan ran the table. If the Chinese are stupid enough to try again, the next war will make the last war look like a near run thing. It is possible for the Japanese Navy to eliminate the Chinese Navy without losing any ships. Technology is the god of war in the 21st century. China is a low tech 5hithole.
Can't even build turbines.
So long as the Chinese military is a source of revenue for the powerful China is no threat to any 1st or even second rate power.
Yes, but Japan still lost the war last time with more than 1 million casualties. We lost more, but they still could not win.
August 18, 2013    kkrwren@
Haha! You get the usual chips-on-shoulder nationalities claiming on the one hand China is weak and pathetic in war and on the other a threat to everyone and thus even the most odious elements of a Japanese nationalism (objected by most right thinking Japanese people) should be supported. i.e. to these fools, anything against the Chinese must be friends. Hint to you fools: Stop focusing on blaming the Chinese and fawning over Japanese and Americans, they cannot nor do they care to make your nation stronger and richer, only you yourself can. Look at your own colonial history and learn the lesson.
August 18, 2013    kkrwren@
type_z@ wrote:
Japan is arming itself BECAUSE of Chinese aggression. Japan is not Tibet. The last time Japan and China went to war, Japan ran the table. If the Chinese are stupid enough to try again, the next war will make the last war look like a near run thing. It is possible for the Japanese Navy to eliminate the Chinese Navy without losing any ships. Technology is the god of war in the 21st century. China is a low tech 5hithole.
Can't even build turbines.
So long as the Chinese military is a source of revenue for the powerful China is no threat to any 1st or even second rate power.
lol! You contradict yourself in your own argument. Why not be done with it and just say simply that you hate the Chinese and they are no good, or at least worse than whatever people you think you represent?
August 18, 2013    kkrwren@
Mrmccaffery@ wrote:
Agree that Japan only wants the capability to defend itself against an unpredictable and nuclear armed North Korea as well as an expansionist China. Ironically, it is China, not Japan who resemble Imperial 1930's Japan: one-party state-check; expansionist policy targeting natural resources-check; military modernization program focused on naval power-check; territorial occupations against competing neighbors-check; aggrieved sense of national 'return to greatness'- check. No wonder Japan is worried, they should know what comes next better than anyone!
The sooner Cold War warriors like you die out in Japan, China, America, Taiwan, the sooner China and Japan can move forward, beyond history and build a bright future.
August 20, 2013    bmwck8@
These red necks who are cheering for the Rise Of Japan's military might should be chopped into pieces. It's unfortunate that Japan didn't eliminate their ancestors during WW2...
August 21, 2013    yeelikoochen@
ric_stealth@ wrote:
Is Japan become militaristic? Yes, absolutely! Who cares? China is become militaristic, too, trying to land grab the Philippine Spratly Islands!
People who make allegations should have first learned the facts of history. Spratly Islands, Nansha in Chinese was discovered by Chinese fishermen in Yuan dynasty some 800 years ago and showed on Chinese maps for centuries. In 1939 Japan incorporated (i.e. annexed) it together with Paracel Islands, Xisha in Chinese, within Taiwan Kaohsiung city until 1946 after Japan surrendered according to the terms of Potsdam Declaration which was verbatim to Cairo Declaration. All the so-called disputed islands in East and South China Seas were Chinese territories for centuries prior to the shameful period 1839-1945 when China suffered Western and Japanese imperialism. Any critics of China's 'militarism' should study Chinese history of that period thoroughly and reflect what their own government would have done!
August 23, 2013    ludahai_twn@
bmwck8@ wrote:
These red necks who are cheering for the Rise Of Japan's military might should be chopped into pieces. It's unfortunate that Japan didn't eliminate their ancestors during WW2...
People like yourself who have no legitimate argument to make can only resort to demonization of those with whom you disagree with.
August 25, 2013    edann77@
This heightened military buildup in East Asia that lies before our futures either leads to a state of prolonged peace for fear of devastating mutual destruction, or to war where much greater destruction and death than ever experienced before. IMO there should be a much greater emphasis on the political and diplomatic path to peace. A military victory does not in itself equate into peace. And history has shown wars have a unique way of sprouting in places where we are least likely to look.
August 26, 2013    chopthebop@
Is Japan becoming militaristic? I hope so. Someone has to stand up to Communist China and its "bullying" of Taiwan and Japan!
Communist China has over 1500 short range ballistic missile aimed at Taiwan and has eyes on Japanese territory!
September 4, 2013    carltanong@
Remember folks.........

_20th century Japan Unit 731 is a BioChem-Hazard Medical Center base inside China.
_21st century. Here comes Japan in a floating luxury 250-meter-long Izumo BioChem-Hazard floating cruise unit number 731.

Who will be the first to confine in that floating luxury cruise BioChem-Hazard unit number 731?

Ohhhhhh.......will be the luckiest human......Ahhhhh.
January 2, 2014    kerryleblanc@
Yes, and well they should. No country likes relying on another one for protection, though Abe comments and some of the things he has done is dumb and stupid, the stuff China has done would lead anyone to be afraid. The Izumo does not have the 731 as its designation, it was the jet that Abe flew in that had it.
November 12, 2014    aeltringham0015@
JAPAN SHOULD BUILD AIRCRAFT CARRIERS AND REARM BUILD FIFTH GENARATION FIGHTERS INCREASE ARMED FORCES AND UP GDP TO 3% ON THE MILITARY
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