Thursday, 3 July 2014

Japan's removal of ban on collective self-defense signals fascism emergence, escalates tension, stirs international unease


Japan's move escalates regional tension, signals fascism emergence: foreign experts

Foreign analysts and scholars have harshly criticized a resolution passed by the Japanese cabinet on Monday to allow it a larger military role in Asia, saying it will escalates regional tensions and is a sign of fascism emergence.

The resolution, which allows Japan to exercise the right to collective self-defense by reinterpreting the pacifist Constitution, greenlights Japan to take military action to defend other countries even though the nation itself is not under attack, marking a major overhaul from Japan' s postwar security policy.

"Japan is changing," warned Shada Islam, the director of Brussels-based Policy, Friends of Europe in a written interview with Xinhua.

The move is part of Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe's drive to transform Japan into a "normal country" when it comes to defence and security, said Islam, adding that he has also pushed through a law to strengthen control of state secrets, created American-style National Security Council, and lifted Japan' s self-imposed restriction on exporting weapons.

Abe's so-called "proactive pacifism" is clearly not popular at home and he has had to abandon his original plan to secure direct constitutional revision -- but this move should reassure the United States that Japan is taking on some responsibility for its own defence, she said.

Public opinion in Japan will continue to act as a brake on some of the Abe's more ambitious plans, so Abe will have to carefully balance his policies, she said, adding that the resolution "will certainly not enhance security and could increase tensions in northeast Asia."

It is absurd for Japan to allows collective self-defense, said Enes Begicevic, a journalist from Bosnia and Herzegovina, adding that Japan's move will lead to regional instability.

"This constitutional change is both historic and worrying as it moves one of the pillars which has maintained the balance of peace in East Asia since the end of the Second World War," said Augusto Soto, professor of ESADE institution of Ramon Llull University and Director of Dialogue with China Project.

This measure could have the effect of destabilizing Asia and the Pacific and this is understood by an important part of public opinion in Japan which is against the Abe administration. However, this opinion does not have the political power to stop the Japanese government's initiative, he said.

In the face of this situation China could launch a political offensive in order to try and convince Japanese public opinion that the announced measure goes against Japanese interests, he advised.

"The new interpretation of the constitution that Japan's cabinet has adopted now may do little good to the security situation in the Asia-Pacific region," Angel Maestro, a Spanish columnist of the Financial World and a expert on asian affairs.

Japan's neighbors may worry this is the sign of a new rise of the fascism in Japan's Political Arena. These countries may strengthen their defense forces as insurance against the possibility that Japan has chosen an expansionist foreign policy as it did during the Second World War, which would raise tensions in the region and escalate conflicts that already exist, he said.

"I think it may increase the historical mistrust that Japan already faces from its neighboring countries, especially China and Korea, about its military intentions," said Piin-Fen Kok, Director of China, East Asia and United States Program with the EastWest Institute.

It' s up to Japan to explain clearly to its neighbors why it is doing this, and why this is good for regional and global security. Japan also needs to provide assurances to its neighbors that it will not revert to its militaristic past, Kok said.

"Collective self-defense is a compromise born from Shinzo Abe's political will, who leads a group of people that don't represent the mainstream of Japanese politics," Professor Axel Berkofsky, senior associate research fellow of Italian Institute for International Political Studies (ISPI) has told Xinhua.

"It is funny to say that Japan should regain the respect of the world. It was just saying: It's a weak commitment, a political move, a dream, a vision of Abe himself," he added.

- Xinhua (Editor:Wang Xin、Huang Jin)

Japan’s removal of ban on collective self-defense stirs international unease

The Japanese cabinet has approved a resolution that would allow the country to exercise the right of collective self-defense by reinterpreting the Pacifist Constitution.

The resolution sets three conditions that would enable exercise of the right including "clear danger" to the lives of its people due to armed attacks on Japan or "countries with close ties".

The move is an overhaul of Japan’s exclusively defense-oriented security policy after World War II and over half of Japanese are against it.

Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Hong Lei said that China is opposed to Japan's pursuit of its domestic political goals by deliberately inventing a "China threat", and urged Japan to respect the legitimate security concerns of its Asian neighbors and deal prudently with relevant issues. He said that Japan must not undermine China's sovereignty and security interests, nor should it harm regional peace and stability.

Japan’s removal of the ban on collective self-defense comes at a time of strained Sino-Japan relations, said Yuan Yang, a researcher with the Academy of Military Sciences of PLA. According to Yuan, China’s rapid economic and military development is the motive behind Japan’s move to constrain China.

Yuan Yang believes that lifting the ban on collective defense would ease certain restrictions on the Japanese military forces and might lead to gradual expansion of its military capability.

Yuan points out that Japan’s emphasis on "countries with close ties", rather than confining itself to its allies, increases the possibility of conflict between China and Japan. There is now the possibiltiy that the two countries might clash over issues related to third parties as well as the Diaoyu Island issue and other issues in the East China Sea.

Zhou Yongsheng, a professor with the China Foreign Affairs University, has also noted that the most serious consequence of removing the ban on collective self-defense might be a military alliance betweeen Japan and countries like the Philippines and Vietnam.

Faced with this situation, China needs to show the world that with peaceful development as its basic state policy, it will never pose any threat to other countries. It should try to unite all peace-loving forces, especially peace forces in Japan, to prevent these Japanese government moves. But China also needs to make it clear to the world that with its own strengthened military forces, it has nothing to fear from the provocative actions of other countries. - (People's Daily Online)

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