Japan’s Abe Kowtows to U.S. Imperial Elite

Hundreds in NYC protest renewed Japanese militarism

Last October a delegation of the U.S. imperial elite slithered into Japan, led by Richard Armitage, former Undersecretary of State and Joseph Nye, Dean Emeritus of the Kennedy School of Empire – er, Government- at Dear Old Harvard. They came armed with a diatribe which they had co-authored for the Center For Strategic and International Studies (CSIS) the previous August wherein they belittled Japan for its pacifist stance, which put it in the humiliating status of “second-tier” nation. But the Armitage/Nye screed made it clear that Japan could rise from this degrading condition by taking up the cudgels against China. Not mentioned was that such a move could prove costly for the Land of the Rising Sun. But not to worry, Japanese brothers, Armitage and Nye implied, the U.S. Empire would back its Asian puppet from the other side of the Pacific, something that might one day come to be known as “leading from afar.” The Armitage/Nye paper was a transparent attempt to goad Japan into belligerence against China.

Last week, newly elected arch militarist Prime Minister Shinzo Abe returned the visit coming to Washington, D.C., very quietly on Friday afternoon, a time of minimal press coverage. Abe was given little more than a quiet lunch with Obama, with no joint statement or press conference, quite adequate for a vassal state like Japan. Later in the afternoon, Abe went immediately to the CSIS where Armitage and others hosted him for a short speech. A transcript is here. One might ask right off whether Japan would produce a leader so foolish as to get between two giants like the U.S. and China. Abe’s speech showed that the U.S. had found someone sufficiently obtuse in Mr. Abe.

Abe, speaking in English as befits a supplicant in the Imperial City, opened his little talk at the CSIS thus: “Last year, Richard Armitage, Joseph Nye, Michael Green and others published a paper about Japan. They asked if Japan would end up becoming a tier-two nation. Secretary Armitage, here is my answer to you: Japan is not and will never be a tier-two country. That is the core message I’m here to make, and I should repeat it by saying I am back and – (laughter, applause) – and – thank you – and so shall Japan be.” No wonder there was applause. Abe had taken the bait. And laughter – merited by the risible stupidity of the man. As FDR found long ago it is quite easy to goad the Japanese militarists into acts of self-destruction. Someone might have told Abe at that very moment that tier-one nations are not occupied by a foreign power and reminded him of the tens of thousands of American troops stationed on his soil, over which the Japanese have little control as shown by the frequent assaults and rapes of Japanese women by “our men in uniform.” The Japanese know full well the use of rape as a tool of humiliation and degradation as they demonstrated in WWII Nanjing or the employ of Korean “comfort women,” things for which the Japanese rulers have yet to apologize. Now, the same humiliation is visited on them by the Americans, and Abe dares not raise the issue in his visit.

However, to be useful to the U.S. Empire, Japan must build up its economy, which is doing none too well at the moment. Shinzo assured his smiling hosts that he had that problem well in hand with an approach known as “Abenomics,” which may be divided into three parts, or his “three arrows,” as he called them. But there is a problem with this economic archery as Abe confessed: “True, we have shot those arrows before but only in timidity and incrementally. In my plan, the three arrows are strong and fast and being shot without any interval. Soon Japan will export more but import more as well.” So the same strategy that failed before is to be used again and this time it will succeed. We all know how Einstein defined insanity, and Abe fits the definition to a “t.”

One might ask how the U.S. will deal with more Japanese exports when Obama himself plans for U.S. economic recovery based in no small parts on exports – or so he says. Further, the U.S. is encouraging Japan to devalue the yen to make its exports more competitive. What would the U.S. say to such an action by China? Such devaluation are apparently OK only for Japan – and, of course, for the U.S. in the form of “quantitative easing.” And how might the Obama administration explain such an action to its labor union base and its naïve progressive supporters, who believe that the administration opposes such currency manipulation? But, of course, the power of Empire and world domination comes before any concern for the American worker – or soldier.

Abe showed he was willing to toe the U.S. imperial line, when it comes to arms, saying: “Japan must stay strong, strong first in economy and strong also in its national defense. Let me tell you, Japan must be austere as well. It – I led my government to increase for the first time in many years the budget for homeland defense. So today, here with you, with John, Mike and all my distinct friends and guests, I make a pledge. I will give back a strong Japan, strong enough to do even more good for the betterment of the world. (Applause.) Thank you.” So the Japanese people are to pay the price of the new militarism with “austerity.”

The U.S.-induced rise in Japanese militarism in Japan drew notice. Last week to mark Abe’s visit over 300 gathered at the Japanese consulate in New York City to protest the new Japanese militarism. It was not covered by the mainstream media but is covered here with photos and press release. It is well worth examining. Two features deserve comment. First, the rally consisted mainly of Chinese, both American born and immigrants who fear for the fate of the Peoples Republic of China at the hands of the U.S. and Japan. There should have been more Americans of other ethnicities, because this is a struggle that will affect the entire population of the planet. And secondly, with all due respect, there is a tendency among Chinese to see Japan as the main villain here – an idea encouraged by the U.S. and perhaps the reason for the low profile of the Armitage/Nye delegation to Japan and the similar low profile of Abe’s visit to D.C. Nothing could be farther from the truth. The Armitage/Nye paper discloses the real schemers in this matter and the U.S. imperial elite. Both China and Japan will lose in such a confrontation. The only winner will be the U.S. Empire, “leading from afar.”

John V. Walsh, @JohnWal97469920, until recently a Professor of Physiology and Neuroscience at the University of Massachusetts Chan Medical School, has written on issues of peace and health care for several independent media. Read other articles by John V..