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FTR #813 Return of the Rising Sun, Part 3

Dave Emory’s entire life­time of work is avail­able on a flash dri­ve that can be obtained here. [1] The new dri­ve is a 32-giga­byte dri­ve that is cur­rent as of the pro­grams and arti­cles post­ed by mid-Octo­ber of 2014. The new dri­ve (avail­able for a tax-deduct­ble con­tri­bu­tion of $65.00 or more) con­tains FTR #815. The last pro­gram record­ed before Mr. Emory’s ill­ness was FTR #748.

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Lis­ten: MP3

Side 1 [5]   Side 2 [6]

[7] [8]Intro­duc­tion: In his sec­ond stint as Prime Min­is­ter of Japan, Shin­zo Abe is reboot­ing the right-wing polit­i­cal agen­da he pur­sued dur­ing his first term in the last decade.

The grand­son [9] of promi­nent Japan­ese war crim­i­nal Nobo­suke Kishi, Abe is imple­ment­ing revi­sion­ist pol­i­tics [10] designed to obfus­cate Japan’s actions dur­ing World War II. (Kishi–Abe’s grand­fa­ther [11]–imple­ment­ed Japan’s dec­la­ra­tion of war against the U.S. dur­ing the Sec­ond World War.)

For back­ground mate­r­i­al to this dis­cus­sion, see the Intro­duc­tion [12] to the anti-fas­cist books, in addi­tion to the author inter­views [13] and text excerpts [14] of the Gold War­riors [15] book by Ster­ling and Peg­gy Sea­grave.

In past pro­grams, we have not­ed that–as was the case in Ger­many [16]–Japan­ese fas­cists were put back in pow­er [17] after the war, in order to pur­sue [14] an anti-com­mu­nist agen­da.

Pro­gram High­lights Include: Some of the post­war chick­ens are com­ing home to roost in what may prove to be more than a rhetor­i­cal fash­ion.

1. School text­books are being edit­ed to reflect a revi­sion­ist per­spec­tive, more sym­pa­thet­ic to the ide­ol­o­gy and goals of Impe­r­i­al Japan. A new secre­cy law has been passed, sti­fling open polit­i­cal dis­course in Japan about the war.

“In Text­book Fight, Japan Lead­ers Seek to Recast His­to­ry” by Mar­tin Fack­ler; The New York Times; 12/28/2013. [18]

Prime Min­is­ter Shin­zo Abe’s con­ser­v­a­tive gov­ern­ment has begun to pur­sue a more open­ly nation­al­ist agen­da on an issue that crit­ics fear will push the coun­try far­ther from its post­war paci­fism: adding a more patri­ot­ic tone to Japan’s school text­books. . . .

. . . . Mr. Abe and the nation­al­ists have long argued that changes in the edu­ca­tion sys­tem are cru­cial to restor­ing the country’s sense of self, erod­ed over decades when chil­dren were taught what they call an over­ly neg­a­tive view of Japan’s wartime behav­ior.

The lat­est efforts for change start­ed slow­ly, but have picked up speed in recent weeks.

In Octo­ber, Mr. Abe’s edu­ca­tion min­is­ter ordered the school board here in Take­to­mi to use a con­ser­v­a­tive text­book it had reject­ed, the first time the nation­al gov­ern­ment has issued such a demand. In Novem­ber, the Edu­ca­tion Min­istry pro­posed new text­book screen­ing stan­dards, con­sid­ered like­ly to be adopt­ed, that would require the inclu­sion of nation­al­ist views of World War II-era his­to­ry.

This month, a gov­ern­ment-appoint­ed com­mit­tee sug­gest­ed a change that would bring pol­i­tics more direct­ly into edu­ca­tion: putting may­ors in charge of their local school dis­tricts, a move that oppo­nents say would increase polit­i­cal inter­fer­ence in text­book screen­ing. And just days ago, an advi­so­ry com­mit­tee to the Edu­ca­tion Min­istry sug­gest­ed hard­en­ing the pro­posed new stan­dards by requir­ing that text­books that do not nur­ture patri­o­tism be reject­ed. . . .

2a. Abe has vis­it­ed the Yasuku­ni Shrine, a con­tro­ver­sial step that aggra­vat­ed Japan’s Asian neigh­bors and rivals.

“With Shrine Vis­it, Leader Asserts Japan’s Track from Paci­fism” by Hiroko Tabuchi; The New York Times; 12/27/2014. [19]

Shin­zo Abe’s past year as prime min­is­ter has con­cen­trat­ed chiefly on reviv­ing Japan’s long-ail­ing econ­o­my. Yet in Mr. Abe’s mind, the country’s new­found eco­nom­ic prowess is a means to an end: to build a more pow­er­ful, assertive Japan, com­plete with a full-fledged mil­i­tary, as well as pride in its World War II-era past.

That larg­er agen­da, which helped cut short Mr. Abe’s first stint in office in 2006–7, has again come to the fore­front in recent weeks, cul­mi­nat­ing in his year-end vis­it Thurs­day to the Yasuku­ni Shrine, which hon­ors the nation’s war dead, includ­ing sev­er­al war crim­i­nals who were exe­cut­ed after Japan’s defeat. . . .

. . . . Last month, he ignored blis­ter­ing crit­i­cism from polit­i­cal oppo­nents as well as the news media and steam­rollered through Par­lia­ment a law that would tight­en gov­ern­ment con­trol over state secrets. The law was pre­sent­ed by the gov­ern­ment as a mech­a­nism to aid in the shar­ing of mil­i­tary intel­li­gence with allies, and cre­ate an Amer­i­can-style Nation­al Secu­ri­ty Coun­cil.

Mr. Abe has also increased mil­i­tary spend­ing for the first time in a decade, and loos­ened self-imposed restric­tions on export­ing weapons. A new defense plan calls for the acqui­si­tion of drones and amphibi­ous assault vehi­cles to pre­pare for the prospect of a pro­longed rival­ry with Chi­na.

And experts say that next year, Mr. Abe could start tak­ing con­crete steps to rein­ter­pret, and ulti­mate­ly revise, Japan’s 1947 paci­fist Con­sti­tu­tion, some­thing he has described as a life goal. Pro­posed changes could allow the coun­try to offi­cial­ly main­tain a stand­ing army for the first time since the war, and take on a larg­er glob­al secu­ri­ty role. . . .

. . . . Nor do Mr. Abe’s deeply revi­sion­ist views of his­to­ry — which he inher­it­ed from his grand­fa­ther Nobusuke Kishi, who was jailed for war crimes before even­tu­al­ly becom­ing prime min­is­ter — inspire con­fi­dence that Tokyo can play a big­ger secu­ri­ty role in Asia. . . .

2b. The U.S. appears to sanc­tion the bur­geon­ing Japan­ese mil­i­tarism, despite State Depart­ment and U.N. con­cerns about grow­ing Japan­ese racism.

“Exclu­sive: Japan, U.S. Dis­cussing Offen­sive Mil­i­tary Capa­bil­ity for Tokyo — Japan Offi­cials” [27]by Nobuhi­ro Kubo; Reuters; 9/10/2013. [27]

Japan and the Unit­ed States are explor­ing the pos­si­bil­ity of Tokyo acquir­ing offen­sive weapons that would allow Japan to project pow­er far beyond its bor­ders, Japan­ese offi­cials said, a move that would like­ly infu­ri­ate Chi­na.

While Japan’s inten­si­fy­ing rival­ry with Chi­na dom­i­nates the head­lines, Tokyo’s focus would be the abil­ity to take out North Kore­an mis­sile bases, said three Japan­ese offi­cials involved in the process.

They said Tokyo was hold­ing the infor­mal, pre­vi­ously undis­closed talks with Wash­ing­ton about capa­bil­i­ties that would mark an enhance­ment of mil­i­tary might for a coun­try that has not fired a shot in anger since its defeat in World War Two.

The talks on what Japan regards as a “strike capa­bil­ity” are pre­lim­i­nary and do not cov­er spe­cific hard­ware at this stage, the Japan­ese offi­cials told Reuters.

Defense experts say an offen­sive capa­bil­ity would require a change in Japan’s pure­ly defen­sive mil­i­tary doc­trine, which could open the door to bil­lions of dol­lars worth of offen­sive mis­sile sys­tems and oth­er hard­ware. These could take var­i­ous forms, such as sub­ma­rine-fired cruise mis­siles sim­i­lar to the U.S. Tom­a­hawk.

U.S. offi­cials said there were no for­mal dis­cus­sions on the mat­ter but did not rule out the pos­si­bil­ity that infor­mal con­tacts on the issue had tak­en place. One U.S. offi­cial said Japan had approached Amer­i­can offi­cials infor­mally last year about the mat­ter.

Japan’s mil­i­tary is already robust but is con­strained by a paci­fist Con­sti­tu­tion. The Self Defense Forces have dozens of naval sur­face ships, 16 sub­marines and three heli­copter car­ri­ers, with more ves­sels under con­struc­tion. Japan is also buy­ing 42 advanced F‑35 stealth fight­er jets.

Reshap­ing the mil­i­tary into a more assertive force is a core pol­icy of Prime Min­is­ter Shin­zo Abe. He has reversed a decade of mil­i­tary spend­ing cuts, end­ed a ban on Japan­ese troops fight­ing abroad and eased curbs on arms exports.

RILING CHINA

Tokyo had dropped a request to dis­cuss offen­sive capa­bil­i­ties dur­ing high-pro­file talks on revis­ing guide­lines for the U.S.-Japan secu­rity alliance which are expect­ed to be fin­ished by year-end, the Japan­ese offi­cials said. Instead, the sen­si­tive issue was “being dis­cussed on a sep­a­rate track”, said one offi­cial with direct knowl­edge of the mat­ter.

But any deal with Wash­ing­ton is years away and the obsta­cles are sig­nif­i­cant – from the costs to the heav­ily indebt­ed Japan­ese gov­ern­ment to con­cerns about ties with Asian neigh­bors such as Chi­na and sen­si­tiv­i­ties with­in the alliance itself.

The Japan­ese offi­cials said their U.S. coun­ter­parts were cau­tious to the idea, part­ly because it could out­rage Chi­na, which accus­es Abe of reviv­ing wartime mil­i­tarism.

The offi­cials declined to be iden­ti­fied because they were not autho­rized to dis­cuss the closed-door delib­er­a­tions. A Japan­ese Defense Min­istry spokesman said he could not com­ment on nego­ti­a­tions with Wash­ing­ton.

Chi­nese For­eign Min­istry spokes­woman Hua Chun­y­ing said Asian coun­tries had a right to be con­cerned about any moves to strength­en Japan’s mil­i­tary con­sid­er­ing the country’s past and recent “mis­taken” words and actions about its his­to­ry.

“We again urge Japan to earnest­ly reflect on and learn the lessons of his­tory, respect the secu­rity con­cerns of coun­tries in the region and go down the path of peace­ful devel­op­ment,” Hua told a dai­ly news brief­ing in Bei­jing.

Japan would need U.S. back­ing for any shift in mil­i­tary doc­trine because it would change the frame­work of the alliance, often described as Amer­ica sup­ply­ing the “sword” of for­ward-based troops and nuclear deter­rence while Japan holds the defen­sive “shield”.

Wash­ing­ton did not have a posi­tion on upgrad­ing Japan’s offen­sive capa­bil­i­ties, “in part because the Japan­ese have not devel­oped a spe­cific con­cept or come to us with a spe­cific request”, said anoth­er U.S. offi­cial.

“We’re not there yet — and they’re not there yet,” the offi­cial said. “We’re pre­pared to have that con­ver­sa­tion when they’re ready.”

NORTH KOREAN MISSILES

North Korea lies less than 600 km (370 miles) from Japan at the clos­est point.

Pyongyang, which reg­u­larly fires short-range rock­ets into the sea sep­a­rat­ing the Kore­as from Japan, has improved its bal­lis­tic mis­sile capa­bil­i­ties and con­ducted three nuclear weapons tests, its most recent in Feb­ru­ary 2013.

In April, North Korea said that in the event of war on the Kore­an Penin­sula, Japan would be “con­sumed in nuclear flames”.

Part of Japan’s moti­va­tion for upgrad­ing its capa­bil­i­ties is a nag­ging sus­pi­cion that the Unit­ed States, with some 28,000 troops in South Korea as well as 38,000 in Japan, might hes­i­tate to attack the North in a cri­sis, Japan­ese experts said.

U.S. forces might hold off in some sit­u­a­tions, such as if South Korea want­ed to pre­vent an esca­la­tion, said Narushige Michishi­ta, a nation­al secu­rity advis­er to the Japan­ese gov­ern­ment from 2004–2006.

“We might want to main­tain some kind of lim­ited strike capa­bil­ity in order to be able to ini­ti­ate a strike, so that we can tell the Amer­i­cans, ‘unless you do the job for us, we will have to do it on our own,’” said Michishi­ta, a secu­rity expert at the Nation­al Grad­u­ate Insti­tute for Pol­icy Stud­ies in Tokyo.

Reflect­ing Japan’s con­cerns, Abe told par­lia­ment in May 2013 that it was vital “not to give the mis­taken impres­sion that the Amer­i­can sword would not be used” in an emer­gency.

“At this moment is it real­ly accept­able for Japan to have to plead with the U.S. to attack a mis­sile threat­en­ing to attack Japan?” Abe said.

Under cur­rent secu­rity guide­lines, in the event of a bal­lis­tic mis­sile attack, “U.S. forces will pro­vide Japan with nec­es­sary intel­li­gence and con­sider, as nec­es­sary, the use of forces pro­vid­ing addi­tional strike pow­er”.

SHROUDED IN EUPHEMISM

The infor­mal dis­cus­sions on offen­sive capa­bil­i­ties cov­er all options, from Japan con­tin­u­ing to rely com­pletely on Wash­ing­ton to get­ting the full panoply of weapon­ry itself.

Japan would like to reach a con­clu­sion in about five years, and then start acquir­ing hard­ware, one Japan­ese offi­cial said.

Tokyo had want­ed the dis­cus­sions includ­ed in the review of the Japan‑U.S. Defense Coop­er­a­tion Guide­lines that are expect­ed to cov­er areas such as logis­ti­cal sup­port and cyber­se­cu­rity. Those talks, which for­mally kicked off last Octo­ber, are the first in 17 years.

...

3. The NHK tele­vi­sion net­work is being brought under the thumb of Abe’s admin­is­tra­tion, com­pro­mis­ing the integri­ty of Japan’s largest and (arguably) most pres­ti­gious news out­let.

“News Giant in Japan Seen Com­pro­mised” by Mar­tin Fack­ler; The New York Times; 2/3/2014. [20]

First, there was the abrupt res­ig­na­tion of the pub­lic broad­cast­ing chief accused by gov­ern­ing par­ty politi­cians of allow­ing an over­ly lib­er­al tone to news cov­er­age. Then, his suc­ces­sor drew pub­lic ire when he sug­gest­ed the net­work would loy­al­ly toe the gov­ern­ment line.

Days lat­er, on Thurs­day, a long­time com­men­ta­tor for the net­work angri­ly announced that he had resigned after being ordered not to crit­i­cize nuclear pow­er ahead of a cru­cial elec­tion, unleash­ing new crit­i­cism.

These are hard times for the broad­cast­er, NHK, which is wide­ly con­sid­ered the country’s most author­i­ta­tive tele­vi­sion and radio news source and like its British equiv­a­lent, the BBC, has been trou­bled by scan­dal. . .

. . . . The prime min­is­ter is already press­ing for more patri­ot­ic text­books and has pushed through a secre­cy law that will allow Japan’s noto­ri­ous­ly opaque gov­ern­ment to hide more of what it does. The actions come as Japan is mired in an emo­tion­al tug of war with Chi­na and South Korea over their fraught wartime his­to­ry and recent, poten­tial­ly explo­sive, ter­ri­to­ry dis­putes.

“What I am wor­ried about is that NHK will become loy­al­ist media, become the pub­lic rela­tions depart­ment of the gov­ern­ment,” an oppo­si­tion law­mak­er, Kazuhi­ro Haraguchi, said in unusu­al­ly harsh crit­i­cism in Par­lia­ment on Fri­day. NHK is “part of the infra­struc­ture that forms the basis of our democ­ra­cy.”

The law­mak­er made the state­ments as a par­lia­men­tary com­mit­tee sum­moned Kat­su­to Momii, the new pres­i­dent of the broad­cast­er, to explain remarks at a recent news con­fer­ence, includ­ing his dec­la­ra­tion that over­seas broad­casts would present the government’s views on for­eign pol­i­cy with­out crit­i­cism.

“We can­not say left when the gov­ern­ment says right,” he said when asked whether NHK would present Japan’s posi­tion on ter­ri­to­r­i­al and oth­er dis­putes. He explained that it was “only nat­ur­al” for the net­work to fol­low the Japan­ese gov­ern­ment posi­tion.

He also said it should refrain from crit­i­ciz­ing the secre­cy law as well as Mr. Abe’s vis­it in Decem­ber to a Tokyo war shrine, which angered Chi­na and South Korea.

The com­ments seemed to run counter to the stat­ed mis­sion of the broad­cast­er, which is fund­ed by fees col­lect­ed from every­one who owns a tele­vi­sion set, to report the news “with­out dis­tor­tion or par­ti­san­ship.”

While it is nom­i­nal­ly inde­pen­dent, the broadcaster’s 12-mem­ber gov­ern­ing board is appoint­ed by Par­lia­ment, which also approves its bud­get. The board, which includes four Abe appointees, choos­es the pres­i­dent of the net­work.

The blunt­ness of the ques­tion­ing in Par­lia­ment reflect­ed the deep sus­pi­cion shared by many in the oppo­si­tion that Mr. Abe’s gov­ern­ing Lib­er­al Demo­c­ra­t­ic Par­ty is stock­ing the gov­ern­ing board with peo­ple ready to sti­fle crit­i­cism of his con­ser­v­a­tive government’s agen­da, includ­ing play­ing down Japan’s wartime atroc­i­ties. . . .

. . . .The lat­est accu­sa­tions of polit­i­cal inter­fer­ence have also become a headache for the Abe gov­ern­ment, which has already seen its high approval rat­ings slide after pas­sage in Decem­ber of the secre­cy law. Many Japan­ese jour­nal­ists saw the law as a way of intim­i­dat­ing would-be gov­ern­ment whis­tle-blow­ers from speak­ing with reporters, fur­ther ham­per­ing the inde­pen­dence of Japan­ese news media already crit­i­cized for being over­ly cozy with author­i­ty.

“This is gross polit­i­cal inter­fer­ence,” said Yasushi Kawasa­ki, a for­mer NHK polit­i­cal reporter who teach­es jour­nal­ism at Sugiya­ma Jogakuen Uni­ver­si­ty near Nagoya. “The Abe gov­ern­ment has stocked NHK’s board of gov­er­nors with friend­ly faces in order to neuter its cov­er­age.”

The top gov­ern­ment spokesman, Chief Cab­i­net Sec­re­tary Yoshi­hide Suga, has denied that the appoint­ments were polit­i­cal­ly moti­vat­ed, but said the prime min­is­ter chose peo­ple whom he knows and trusts. . . .

 4a. Con­tro­ver­sial com­ments are strain­ing rela­tions with the Unit­ed States. Asser­tions by Abe allies include asser­tions that U.S. war crimes tri­bunals after the con­flict were intend­ed to obfus­cate Amer­i­can war crimes and the remark­able claim that U.S. troops used slave pros­ti­tutes sim­i­lar to the Japan­ese “com­fort women.”

“Nation­al­is­tic Remarks from Japan Lead to Warn­ings of Chill with U.S.” by Mar­tin Fack­ler; The New York Times; 2/20/2014. [21]

A series of defi­ant­ly nation­al­is­tic com­ments, includ­ing remarks crit­i­cal of the Unit­ed States, by close polit­i­cal asso­ciates of Prime Min­is­ter Shin­zo Abe has led ana­lysts to warn of a grow­ing chill between his right-wing gov­ern­ment and the Oba­ma admin­is­tra­tion, which views Japan as a linch­pin of its strate­gic piv­ot to Asia.

Rebut­tals from the Amer­i­can Embassy in Japan have added to con­cerns of a falling-out between Japan and the Unit­ed States, which has so far wel­comed Mr. Abe’s efforts to strength­en Japan’s econ­o­my and mil­i­tary out­reach in the region to serve as a coun­ter­bal­ance to Chi­na. The com­ments, which express revi­sion­ist views of Japan’s World War II his­to­ry, have also led to renewed claims from Japan’s neigh­bors, par­tic­u­lar­ly Chi­na and South Korea, that Mr. Abe is lead­ing his nation to the right, try­ing to stir up patri­o­tism and gloss over the country’s wartime his­to­ry. . . .

. . . . One of the most provoca­tive com­ments from Abe allies came this month, when an ultra­con­ser­v­a­tive nov­el­ist, Nao­ki Hyaku­ta, who was appoint­ed by the prime min­is­ter him­self to the gov­ern­ing board of pub­lic broad­cast­er NHKsaid in a speech [28] that the Tokyo war tri­bunal after World War II was a means to cov­er up the “geno­cide” of Amer­i­can air raids on Tokyo and the atom­ic bomb­ings of Hiroshi­ma and Nagasa­ki. The Unit­ed States Embassy called the com­ments “pre­pos­ter­ous.”

. . . . Mr. Hyakuta’s com­ments came days after the new pres­i­dent of NHK, who was cho­sen last month by a gov­ern­ing board includ­ing Abe appointees, raised eye­brows in Wash­ing­ton by say­ing that Japan should not be sin­gled out for forc­ing women to pro­vide sex to Japan­ese sol­diers dur­ing the war, say­ing the Unit­ed States mil­i­tary did the same. Most his­to­ri­ans say the Japan­ese sys­tem of cre­at­ing spe­cial broth­els for the troops, then forc­ing tens of thou­sands of women from oth­er coun­tries to work there, was dif­fer­ent from the prac­tice by oth­er coun­tries’ troops in occu­pied areas who fre­quent­ed local broth­els. . . .

4b. One of Abe’s cab­i­net min­is­ters has praised the Japan­ese Kamikaze pilots:

“As Ten­sions Rise, Paci­fist Japan March­es Into a Mil­i­tary Revival” by Yuka Hayashi; The Wall Street Jour­nal; 7/18/2013. [22]

Masahisa Sato stood in a ball­room under a giant Japan­ese flag, read­ing to the after-work crowd from a let­ter a World War II kamikaze pilot sent his young daugh­ter.

“Don’t see your­self as a father­less child. I will always be look­ing out for your safe­ty,” Mr. Sato quot­ed the pilot as writ­ing before he flew his plane into a U.S. ship off the Philip­pines in 1944, with his daugh­ter’s favorite doll in the cock­pit.
As the audi­ence fell silent, Mr. Sato declared, his voice hoarse: “We have peo­ple we want to pro­tect. We must have the resolve to hand this nation to the next gen­er­a­tion.”

Mr. Sato is no fringe mil­i­taris­tic crank. He is a top defense advis­er to Prime Min­is­ter Shin­zo Abe and a mem­ber of Japan’s par­lia­ment run­ning for re-elec­tion on Sun­day. . . .
5b. The Rea­gan and George H.W. Bush admin­is­tra­tions vio­lat­ed U.S. law by deliv­er­ing tons of weapons grade plu­to­ni­um to Japan.
“Unit­ed States Cir­cum­vent­ed Laws to Help Japan Accu­mu­late Tons of Plu­to­ni­um” by Joseph Tren­to; DC Bureau; 4/9/2012. [23]

The Unit­ed States delib­er­ate­ly allowed Japan access to the Unit­ed States’ most secret nuclear weapons facil­i­ties while it trans­ferred tens of bil­lions of dol­lars worth of Amer­i­can tax paid research that has allowed Japan to amass 70 tons of weapons grade plu­to­ni­um since the 1980s, a Nation­al Secu­ri­ty News Ser­vice inves­ti­ga­tion reveals. These activ­i­ties repeat­ed­ly vio­lat­ed U.S. laws regard­ing con­trols of sen­si­tive nuclear mate­ri­als that could be divert­ed to weapons pro­grams in Japan. The NSNS inves­ti­ga­tion found that the Unit­ed States has known about a secret nuclear weapons pro­gram in Japan since the 1960s, accord­ing to CIA reports.

The diver­sion of U.S. clas­si­fied tech­nol­o­gy began dur­ing the Rea­gan admin­is­tra­tion after it allowed a $10 bil­lion reac­tor sale to Chi­na. Japan protest­ed that sen­si­tive tech­nol­o­gy was being sold to a poten­tial nuclear adver­sary. The Rea­gan and George H.W. Bush admin­is­tra­tions per­mit­ted sen­si­tive tech­nol­o­gy and nuclear mate­ri­als to be trans­ferred to Japan despite laws and treaties pre­vent­ing such trans­fers. High­ly sen­si­tive tech­nol­o­gy on plu­to­ni­um sep­a­ra­tion from the U.S. Depart­ment of Energy’s Savan­nah Riv­er Site and Han­ford nuclear weapons com­plex, as well as tens of bil­lions of dol­lars worth of breed­er reac­tor research was turned over to Japan with almost no safe­guards against pro­lif­er­a­tion. Japan­ese sci­en­tist and tech­ni­cians were giv­en access to both Han­ford and Savan­nah Riv­er as part of the trans­fer process.

While Japan has refrained from deploy­ing nuclear weapons and remains under an umbrel­la of U.S. nuclear pro­tec­tion, NSNS has learned that the coun­try has used its elec­tri­cal util­i­ty com­pa­nies as a cov­er to allow the coun­try to amass enough nuclear weapons mate­ri­als to build a nuclear arse­nal larg­er than Chi­na, India and Pak­istan com­bined. . . .

. . . That secret effort was hid­den in a nuclear pow­er pro­gram that by March 11, 2011– the day the earth­quake and tsuna­mi over­whelmed the Fukushi­ma Dai­ichi Nuclear Plant – had amassed 70 met­ric tons of plu­to­ni­um. Like its use of civil­ian nuclear pow­er to hide a secret bomb pro­gram, Japan used peace­ful space explo­ration as a cov­er for devel­op­ing sophis­ti­cat­ed nuclear weapons deliv­ery sys­tems.

Polit­i­cal lead­ers in Japan under­stood that the only way the Japan­ese peo­ple could be con­vinced to allow nuclear pow­er into their lives was if a long line of gov­ern­ments and indus­try hid any mil­i­tary appli­ca­tion. For that rea­son, a suc­ces­sion of Japan­ese gov­ern­ments col­lud­ed on a bomb pro­gram dis­guised as inno­cent ener­gy and civ­il space pro­grams. . . .

5c. Abe is turn­ing back the Japan­ese his­tor­i­cal and polit­i­cal clock. Japan­ese gov­ern­ment offi­cials are open­ly sanc­tion­ing anti-Kore­an racism and net­work­ing with orga­ni­za­tions that pro­mote that doc­trine. Sev­er­al mem­bers of Abe’s gov­ern­ment net­work with Japan­ese neo-Nazis, some of whom advo­cate using the Nazi method for seiz­ing pow­er in Japan. Is Abe’s gov­ern­ment doing just that?

“For Top Pols In Japan Crime Doesn’t Pay, But Hate Crime Does” by Jake Adel­stein and
Angela Eri­ka Kubo; The Dai­ly Beast
; 9/26/2014. [25]

As Japan’s prime min­is­ter address­es the Unit­ed Nations on Fri­day his rep­u­ta­tion at home is taint­ed by links to avowed racists.

Prime Min­is­ter Shin­zo Abe will be speak­ing to the Unit­ed Nations this Fri­day, but he may not be very wel­come. In late July, the Unit­ed Nations’ Com­mit­tee on the Elim­i­na­tion of Racial Dis­crim­i­na­tion urged Japan to crack down on the grow­ing cas­es of “hate speech” tar­get­ing for­eign res­i­dents. The U.N. com­mit­tee urged Prime Min­is­ter Abe’s admin­is­tra­tion to “firm­ly address man­i­fes­ta­tions of hate [29] and racism as well as incite­ment to racist vio­lence and hatred dur­ing ral­lies,” and cre­ate laws to rec­tify the sit­u­a­tion.

Recent events make it appear that the prime min­is­ter and his cab­i­net are not pay­ing atten­tion; sev­eral mem­bers of the cab­i­net not only appear obliv­i­ous to racism and hate speech issues, they asso­ciate with those who pro­mote them.

Last week pho­tographs of Japan’s new­ly appoint­ed Nation­al Pub­lic Safe­ty Com­mis­sioner social­iz­ing with mem­bers of the country’s most vir­u­lent racist group, Zaitokukai, were brought to light in an expose by Japan’s lead­ing week­ly mag­a­zine, Shukan Bun­shun. In U.S. terms, it would be the equiv­a­lent of the attor­ney gen­eral get­ting caught chum­ming around with a Grand Drag­on of the Ku Klux Klan. This week it was report­ed that anoth­er cab­i­net mem­ber received dona­tions from them, and that Prime Min­is­ter Shin­zo Abe him­self may have ties to the staunch­ly anti-Kore­an orga­ni­za­tion.

All of this isn’t good for Japan and Korea rela­tions, since much of the racism is direct­ed at peo­ple of Kore­an descent, nor is it good for U.S.-Japan rela­tions. In Feb­ru­ary, the U.S. State Depart­ment in its annu­al report on human rights, crit­i­cized the hate speech towards Kore­an res­i­dents in Japan [30], specif­i­cally nam­ing the Zaitokukai. The group is well known for its anti-social actions, but The Dai­ly Beast has learned that it also has had ties to Japan’s mafia—including the Sumiyoshi-kai, which is black­listed by the Unit­ed States [31].

The lat­est news of links between the Japan­ese rul­ing coali­tion and unsa­vory char­ac­ters comes just after anoth­er scan­dal involv­ing neo-nazi links to two oth­er cab­i­net mem­bers [32] made head­lines world­wide.

The stan­dard line of defense offered by the cab­i­net mem­bers embroiled in con­tro­versy over their con­nec­tions to racist groups, “We just hap­pened to get pho­tographed with these peo­ple. We don’t know who they are,” is get­ting hard­er to swal­low. And it has raised some dis­turb­ing issues.

The U.N. and the U.S. State Depart­ment can cer­tainly urge Japan to deal with the prob­lem but as long as hate crime pays polit­i­cally and to some extent mon­e­tar­ily and the admin­is­tra­tion seems to con­done ultra-nation­al­ist racist groups this is unlike­ly to hap­pen. The scold­ing that the U.N. gave Japan seems more and more pre­scient as links between the cab­i­net and big­oted ultra-nation­al­ist orga­ni­za­tions keep com­ing to light.

...

The Zaitokukai [33], found­ed in 2006, has a name best trans­lated as “Cit­i­zens Against the Spe­cial Priv­i­leges of Eth­nic Kore­ans.” They are an ultra-nation­al­ist, right-wing group that argues for the elim­i­na­tion of priv­i­leges extend­ed to for­eign­ers who had been grant­ed Spe­cial For­eign Res­i­dent status—mostly Kore­an-Japan­ese.

The Zaitokukai also col­lect a lot of mon­ey in dona­tions from like-mind­ed cit­i­zens.

The group, which is led by Mako­to Saku­rai, whose real name is Mako­to Taka­da, claims that eth­nic Kore­ans abuse the social and wel­fare sys­tem in Japan. Zaitokukai claims to have over 14,000 mem­bers. It orga­nizes protests and demon­stra­tions across Japan, even in front of Kore­an ele­men­tary schools, yelling such slo­gans as “Go back to Korea,” “You’re the chil­dren of spies”—making numer­ous veiled and overt threats. The group asserts that all for­eign­ers are crim­i­nals who should be chased out of Japan, espe­cially the Kore­ans.

In a recent book, Saku­rai states, “The Japan­ese under­stand what the Kore­ans are up to. If you think about it, there’s no way we can get along with these peo­ple. Even though Japan­ese peo­ple don’t do any­thing, Kore­ans just cause one inci­dent (crime) after anoth­er. Every time a Kore­an com­mits anoth­er crime, our sup­port goes up.”

And when sup­port goes up, so do the earn­ings of the Zaitokukai—earnings that are poor­ly account­ed for and go untaxed. It’s a great rack­et and it’s com­pletely legal.

How­ever, the group does have asso­ci­a­tions with the Japan­ese mafia, aka the yakuza, and those may not be legal. They are very close­ly tied to the polit­i­cal arm of the Sumiyoshikai, known as Nihon­sein­sha. [34].

Eriko Yamatani, as chair­man of the Nation­al Pub­lic Safe­ty Com­mis­sion, over­sees Japan’s police forces. It makes her asso­ci­a­tion with Zaitokukai and their crim­i­nally inclined mem­bers high­ly prob­lem­atic. One pic­ture that dates back to 2009 shows Yamatani stand­ing next to Yasuhiko Ara­maki, who was arrest­ed a year lat­er for ter­ror­iz­ing a Kore­an ele­men­tary school in Kyoto, found guilty and then lat­er arrest­ed again in 2012 on charges of intim­i­da­tion. [35].

Anoth­er of the peo­ple pho­tographed with Yamatani is Shi­geo Masu­ki, a for­mer Zaitokukai leader. Masu­ki was arrest­ed at least three times after the pho­to­graph was shot, once for threat­en­ing an ele­men­tary school prin­ci­pal and lat­er for insur­ance fraud. Yamatani ini­tially denied that she knew of the Zaitokukai affil­i­a­tion of the peo­ple in the pic­tures. This is slight­ly strange since she has report­edly been friends with Masu­ki and his wife for over a decade. When reply­ing to ques­tions from TBS radio about the recent scan­dal, she explained the Zaitokukai exact­ly in the ter­mi­nol­ogy of a true believ­er, inad­ver­tently using the words “Zainichi Tokken (Spe­cial rights of the Kore­an Res­i­dents In Japan)” her­self. At a press con­fer­ence held today (Sep­tem­ber 25th), she was ques­tioned about her use of the term and stat­ed uncom­fort­ably, “In my reply (to TBS) I might have just copy and past­ed from the Zaitokukai home­page.” She refused to crit­i­cize the group by name or clar­ify whether she believed that eth­nic Kore­ans had spe­cial priv­i­leges.

Yamatani, in her cur­rent posi­tion, over­sees the Nation­al Police Agency—the very same agency that not­ed in its 2013 white paper that the Zaitokukai were com­mit­ting hate speech, pro­mot­ing racism, and posed a threat to the social order. If hate-speech becomes a crime, she may be in charge of over­see­ing the police that enforce the law.

She isn’t the only one close to the Zaitokukai in the cur­rent cab­i­net. Accord­ing to the mag­a­zine Sun­day Mainichi, Ms. Tomo­mi Ina­da, Min­is­ter Of The “Cool Japan” Strat­egy, also received dona­tions from Masa­ki and oth­er Zaitokukai asso­ciates.

Appar­ently, racism is cool in Japan.

Ina­da made news ear­lier this month after pho­tos cir­cu­lated of her and anoth­er female in the new cab­i­net pos­ing with a neo-Nazi par­ty leader [36]. Both denied know­ing the neo-Nazi well but lat­er were revealed to have con­tributed blurbs for an adver­tise­ment prais­ing the out-of-print book Hitler’s Elec­tion Strateg [37]y. Coin­ci­den­tally, Vice-Prime Minister,Taro Aso, is also a long-time admir­er of Nazi polit­i­cal strat­egy [26], and has sug­gested Japan fol­low the Nazi Par­ty tem­plate to sneak con­sti­tu­tional change past the pub­lic.

Even Japan’s Prime Min­is­ter Abe has been pho­tographed with mem­bers of Zaitokukai. Masu­ki, who snapped a pho­to with Abe on August 17h 2009, while he was still a mem­ber of the group, bragged that Abe kind­ly remem­bered him.” [38]

As of pub­li­ca­tion date, the admin­is­tra­tion hasn’t explained the rela­tion­ship between the two and a home page fea­tur­ing a pho­to of Abe and Masu­ki has been tak­en down.

...

Since Sep­tem­ber 3, it seems that every day yields new infor­ma­tion link­ing an Abe cab­i­net mem­ber with a racist or neo-nazi group. While the ties to racist groups and the cab­i­net mem­bers seem prob­lem­atic, there are signs of hope…sort of.

In August, Japan’s rul­ing par­ty, which put Abe into pow­er orga­nized a work­ing group to dis­cuss laws that would restrict hate-crime [39]although the new laws will prob­a­bly also be used to clamp down on anti-nuclear protests out­side the Diet build­ing.

Of course, it is a lit­tle wor­ri­some that Sanae Takaichi, who was sup­posed to over­see the project, is the oth­er female min­is­ter who was pho­tographed with a neo-Nazi leader and is a fan of Hitler.

Maybe the Abe admin­is­tra­tion is sin­cere about deal­ing with hate crimes and just unlucky to have so many cab­i­net mem­bers being pho­tographed and get­ting dona­tions from the wrong peo­ple.

Sad­ly, Japan is in the mid­dle of a huge racist boom. Anti-Kore­an books, mag­a­zines, and com­ic books are sell­ing like wild­fire. The anti-Kore­an dia­tribe Bokan­ron (The Impu­dent Korea Argu­ment), a book released on Decem­ber 5 last year, became the top sell­ing book on Ama­zon with­in a week and sold 270,000 copies by the end of March. An assis­tant edi­tor at a week­ly mag­a­zine told The Dai­ly Beast, “If you have an arti­cle ridi­cul­ing Korea or Kore­ans on the cov­er, the issue sells. That’s the cli­mate we’re in.”

How­ever, Japan is def­i­nitely in a pre­car­i­ous time. What was once taboo has become social­ly accept­able and the prime min­is­ter remains silent, hop­ing to avoid alien­at­ing his polit­i­cal base and let the fires of polit­i­cal nation­al­ism con­tinue to smol­der.

6. More about Finance Min­is­ter and Deputy Prime Min­is­ter Taro Abe’s Nazi views:

“Japan­ese Deputy Prime Min­is­ter’s Nazi Remarks Cause Furor” by Jethro Mullen; CNN; 8/2/2013. [26]

Japan’s deputy prime min­is­ter stirred con­tro­ver­sy this week by appear­ing to sug­gest that the gov­ern­ment could learn from the way that Nazi Ger­many changed its con­sti­tu­tion.

The remarks by Taro Aso, who is also the Japan­ese finance min­is­ter, pro­voked crit­i­cism from Japan’s neigh­bors and a Jew­ish orga­ni­za­tion in the Unit­ed States.

Aso, a for­mer prime min­is­ter who has slipped up with ver­bal gaffes in the past, retract­ed the com­ments lat­er in the week but refused to apol­o­gize for them or resign, say­ing they had been tak­en out of con­text.

Amid per­sis­tent talk in Japan about revis­ing the coun­try’s paci­fist post-war con­sti­tu­tion, Aso set off the con­tro­ver­sy at a sem­i­nar Mon­day, in which he said that dis­cus­sions over con­sti­tu­tion­al changes should be car­ried out calm­ly.

“Ger­many’s Weimar Con­sti­tu­tion was changed into the Nazi Con­sti­tu­tion before any­one knew,” he said in com­ments wide­ly report­ed by the Japan­ese media. “It was changed before any­one else noticed. Why don’t we learn from that method?” . . . .

. . . . Aso’s appar­ent ref­er­ence to those changes drew expres­sions of con­cern from the gov­ern­ments of Chi­na and South Korea, two coun­tries that suf­fered heav­i­ly under Japan­ese impe­r­i­al aggres­sion dur­ing World War II, a con­flict in which Japan was allied with Nazi Ger­many. . . .

7. Abe cab­i­net min­is­ters Tomo­mi Ina­da and Sanae Takaichi wrote pro­mo­tion­al blurbs for a book writ­ten by a Lib­er­al Demo­c­ra­t­ic Par­ty politi­cian that for­mal­ly artic­u­lates the strat­e­gy endorsed by Taro Aso.

“Japan­ese Book Prais­es Hitler for His Elec­toral Tech­niques” by Andrew Pol­lack; The New York Times; 6/8/1994. [37]

An offi­cial of the Lib­er­al Demo­c­ra­t­ic Par­ty urges in a new book that his par­ty try to regain pow­er by adopt­ing a new role mod­el: Hitler.

The book, “Hitler Elec­tion Strat­e­gy: A Bible for Cer­tain Vic­to­ry in Mod­ern Elec­tions,” says the Nazi lead­er’s process for “uni­fy­ing pub­lic opin­ion in a short peri­od of time and snatch­ing pow­er” pro­vides “very impor­tant teach­ings.”

The author, Yoshio Ogai, is a pub­lic rela­tions offi­cial in the Tokyo chap­ter of the Lib­er­al Demo­c­ra­t­ic Par­ty, Japan’s largest, which con­trolled the Gov­ern­ment for near­ly four decades until being oust­ed last sum­mer. Just Per­son­al Advice

In an inter­view today, Mr. Ogai said the book did not state an offi­cial par­ty posi­tion, mere­ly his per­son­al advice to can­di­dates in these “chaot­ic” times that they could learn some tac­tics from Hitler. He said, how­ev­er, that he had cleared the book before­hand with the sec­re­tary gen­er­al of the Tokyo branch.