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Whither Japan? Divine Wind, Take 2?

Dave Emory’s entire life­time of work is avail­able on a flash drive that can be obtained here. (The flash drive includes the anti-fascist books avail­able on this site.)

COMMENT: In numerous broadcasts, we have covered the sad reality that in post World War II Japan, as in post World War II Germany, the public perception that the forces of fascism were eradicated is a deliberately cultivated political myth.

Interested researchers are emphatically encouraged to read Gold Warriors by Sterling and Peggy Seagrave. Covering the Japanese equivalent of the Bormann flight capital network, the volume is a heroic, masterful analysis and penetration of the Asian wing of the cartel system that spawned fascism, as well as the realities of the post-World War II Japanese political and economic landscape. (FTR #’s 290, 426427428446451501509, 689 deal with the subject of the Golden Lily program successfully implemented by the Japanese to loot Asia, as well as the restoration of Japanese fascists to positions of prominence in postwar Japan.)

Be careful what you wish for, you might get it--a not-so-divine wind.

In addition to his laudable stimulus program for Japan’s moribund economy, Japanese prime minister Abe has–much less laudably–embarked on a program of militarism, perhaps to use the Ronald Reagan formula of “military Keynesianism” to suplement the stimulus.

Abe’s Liberal Democratic Party is the primary vehicle for the perpetuation of postwar Japanese fascism and is showing signs of returning to that unfortunate past.

In a recent campaign appearance, Abe adviser Masahisa Sato read from the journal of a Japanese Kamikaze pilot, who died crashing his plane into an American ship during World War II.

With Japan equipped with the potential to develop nuclear weapons and with chief Japanese strategic rival China a nuclear power, this kind of revanchist, atavistic saber-rattling bodes poorly for the future of Asia and the world.

An all-out war between Japan and China would devastate both China and Asia. It would result in the  annihilation of Japan and the extermination of its people.

Updating this post, we learn that a Korean court has ruled that Mitsubishi must reimburse some Korean nationals for forced labor during World War II.  (See text excerpts below.) Note what the response was when U.S. POW’s attempted to obtain compensation for their forced labor.

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

EXCERPT: 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. The vote will help determine the extent of Mr. Abe’s grip on power—and his ability to push through an agenda to transform Japan’s military to an extent unseen since the bitter defeat nearly 70 years ago.

“We see the votes Mr. Sato receives as the proxy for our party’s hard-fought national-security strategy,” Shigeru Ishiba, a ruling-party official, told voters at the rally. “We must revive a strong Japan. We have just a few years to make that happen.”

The election is considered likely to ratify a surprisingly swift Japanese embrace of a more muscular military, as regional tensions, shifting attitudes and generational change erode postwar pacifism. . . .

. . . . His Liberal Democratic Party is expected to score a comfortable election win, giving him a strong mandate. Mr. Abe, who himself isn’t running, remains very popular, with an approval rating above 60%. . . .

. . . . On Wednesday, just four days before the vote, Mr. Abe took his campaign to the front lines of Japan’s territorial dispute with China, making a highly unusual trip to two outer islands of Okinawa. He rallied troops at an air force radar site and boarded a coast guard cutter assigned to patrol the contentious waters. “I intend to lead the way in efforts to protect our territorial land, water and sky till the very end,” Mr. Abe said in a speech to coast guard officials. . . .

. . . . “Defense of Japan White Paper” released July 9 spotlighted continuing debates among lawmakers and bureaucrats about the need for amphibious forces and the capability to launch pre-emptive strikes against enemy bases when attacks on Japan are thought imminent. The government has already taken steps to expand ballistic-missile defense systems and promote weapons exports. . . .

. . . . His hawkish rhetoric worries neighbors once victimized by Japan’s aggression. The tensions involve lingering disagreements over the interpretation of Japan’s wartime role. Since Mr. Abe took power, China and South Korea, in particular, have bitterly complained about visits made by Mr. Abe’s top aides to a controversial Tokyo war shrine and about remarks Mr. Abe made seeming to question whether Japan invaded anybody. . . .

“South Korean Court Tells Japanese Company to Pay for Forced Labor” by Choe San-Hung; The New York Times; 7/30/2013.

EXCERPT: In a verdict expected to intensify tensions with Japan, a South Korean court on Tuesday ordered Mitsubishi Heavy Industries to compensate five South Koreans who were forced to work in the company’s factories during the period of Japanese colonial rule of Korea, which ended with World War II.

The high court in Busan, a port city in southeastern South Korea, ordered the company to pay $71,800 to each of the five Koreans.

It was the second such ruling against a Japanese company this month. On July 10, the Seoul High Court ordered the Nippon Steel and Sumitomo Metal Corporation to pay $89,800 to each of four South Korean plaintiffs to compensate them for forced labor. Nippon Steel and Mitsubishi each said they planned to appeal.

The Busan court said in its ruling that Mitsubishi forced the South Korean plaintiffs to “toil in poor conditions in Hiroshima and yet failed to pay wages,” and “did not provide proper shelters or food after the dropping of an atomic bomb” there in 1945. All five plaintiffs are now deceased; their families represented them in court.

The two rulings were the first in favor of South Koreans in a 16-year legal battle waged in Japan and South Korea, and they could prompt similar lawsuits from other victims or their families. At least 1.2 million Koreans were forced to work for Japan’s war efforts in Japan, China and elsewhere, historians here said. Some 300 Japanese companies still in operation are believed to have used forced labor during the colonial period from 1910 to 1945, according to officials in the South Korean capital, Seoul. . . .

Discussion

7 comments for “Whither Japan? Divine Wind, Take 2?”

  1. From preemptive pacifism to preemptive strikes. Yikes:

    Japan to mull pre-emptive strike ability in defense update

    By Linda Sieg

    TOKYO | Wed Jul 24, 2013 10:11pm EDT

    (Reuters) – Japan is likely to start considering acquiring the ability to launch pre-emptive military strikes in a planned update of its basic defense policies, the latest step away from the constraints of its pacifist constitution.

    The expected proposal, which could sound alarm bells in China, is part of a review of Japan’s defense policies undertaken by Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s government, an interim report on which could come as early as Friday. The final conclusions of the review are due out by the end of the year.

    The hawkish Abe took office in December for a rare second term, pledging to bolster the military to cope with what Japan sees as an increasingly threatening security environment including an assertive China and unpredictable North Korea.

    Article 9 of Japan’s constitution, drafted by U.S. occupation forces after its defeat in World War Two, renounces the right to wage war and, if taken literally, rules out the very notion of a standing army. In reality, Japan’s Self-Defense Forces are one of Asia’s strongest militaries.

    The Defence Ministry will call in the interim report for a study of how to “strengthen the ability to deter and respond to ballistic missiles”, the Yomiuri newspaper and other media said on Thursday.

    But in a sign of the sensitivity, the report will stop short of specifically mentioning the ability to hit enemy bases when the threat of attack is imminent, the Yomiuri newspaper said.

    The ministry will also consider buying unmanned surveillance drones and creating a Marines force to protect remote islands, such as those at the core of a dispute with China, media said.

    “The acquisition of offensive capability would be a fundamental change in our defense policy, a kind of philosophical change,” said Marushige Michishita, a professor at the National Graduate Institute of Policy Studies.

    Obtaining that capability, however, would take time, money and training, meaning any shift may be more rhetorical than real. “It’s easier said than done,” Michishita added.

    The updated guidelines could also touch on Abe’s moves toward lifting a self-imposed ban on exercising the right of collective self-defense, or helping an ally under attack, such as if North Korea launched an attack on the United States.

    The defense review may also urge replacing a self-imposed ban on arms exports, that has been eased several times, making it easier for Japan’s defense contractors to join international projects and reduce procurement costs.

    Some experts stressed that the changes were evolutionary rather than a sudden transformation in Japan’s defense posture.

    QUESTIONS OVER HARDWARE, COST

    “It’s all part of a process of Japan edging away from the most restrictive interpretation of Article 9,” said Richard Samuels, director of the MIT-Japan program at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

    Still, given Japan’s strained ties with China over disputed isles and how to frame the narrative of Japan’s wartime history, China is likely to react strongly to the proposals, which come after Abe cemented his grip on power with a big win in a weekend election for parliament’s upper house.

    “No matter how Japan explains things, China will attack it pretty harshly,” said Michael Green of the Washington-based Center for Strategic and International Studies.

    Although China has been a nuclear power for decades and North Korea is developing nuclear arms, Japan says it has no intention of doing so.

    Support has grown in Japan for a more robust military because of concern about China, but opposition also remains.

    Japan last updated its National Defence Programme Guidelines in 2010 when the Democratic Party of Japan was in power.

    Those changes shifted Japan away from defending areas to its north, a Cold War legacy, to a defense capability that could respond with more flexibility to incursions to the south, the site of the row with China over tiny, uninhabited islands.

    Japan has for decades been stretching the limits of Article 9 and has long said it has the right to attack enemy bases overseas when the enemy’s intention to attack Japan is evident, the threat is imminent and there are no other defense options.

    But while previous administrations shied away from acquiring the hardware to do so, Abe’s Liberal Democratic Party in June urged the government to consider acquiring that capability.

    Just what hardware might come under consideration is as yet unclear. And with a huge public debt, Japan may be in no position to afford the bill.

    It’s like going to be interesting (in a horrific way) to see what kind of drones a country with the robotics expertise of Japan will be churning out if they continue down this path. It’ll also be interesting (also in a horrific way) to see how a densely populated Island nation bristling with vulnerable nuclear power plants – including one that’s still releasing steam from the hole where the roof used to be – fares in a modern military conflict. This is one of those news stories that makes zany public speculations by Defense Ministers about the need to defend against UFO invasions seem relatively reassuring.

    Posted by Pterrafractyl | July 24, 2013, 7:30 pm
  2. A clarification on Japan mulling adding preemptive strikes to its constitution: The review panel making these suggestions want to emphasize that the preemptive strike capabilities would be only for striking enemy missile launch sites. So the proposed preemptive strike capability is going to be framed a form of missile defense. Assuming that’s the actual long-term agenda, it looks like Japan could be making some significant future investments in missiles:

    Japan military ‘needs marines and drones’
    BBC, 26 July 2013 Last updated at 01:27 ET

    Japan should bolster its marine force and introduce surveillance drones, a defence review paper says, highlighting concerns over China and North Korea.

    Units that could be dispatched quickly to remote islands were needed, the document said, and equipment to detect “at an early stage signs of changes in the security situation”.

    The report comes amid ongoing tensions with China over disputed islands.

    It also flagged up the need for better defences against missile attacks.

    North Korea conducted what was widely seen as a long-range missile test in December 2012 and followed up with its third test of a nuclear device in February 2013.

    ‘More severe’

    The interim report is part of a defence review ordered by Mr Abe, with final proposals due by December.

    On Sunday, Mr Abe won back control of Japan’s Upper House, meaning he now controls parliament and would be in a stronger position to reshape Japan’s current defence strategy.

    Under its post-war constitution, Japan is blocked from the use of force to resolve conflicts except in the case of self-defence.

    But Mr Abe has indicated he would like to broaden the scope of activities that Japan’s military are allowed to engage in.

    In addition to proposals concerning marines and drones, the report calls for a strengthened ability to “to deter and respond to ballistic missiles”.

    “Japan needs to enhance its ability to respond to ballistic missile attacks in a comprehensive manner,” Kyodo news agency quoted the report as saying.

    But officials have been keen to emphasise that this does not mean Japan is eyeing pre-emptive strikes on enemy targets.

    “It is necessary to consider whether we should have the option to strike an enemy’s missile launch facilities,” an unidentified defence ministry official told Reuters news agency.

    “But we are not at all thinking about initiating attacks on enemy bases when we are not under attack.”

    It’s also worth noting that Japan’s existing missile defense systems are already amongst the most advanced in the world, with US technology playing a big role. And this advanced US/Japanees missile defense systems is apparently slated for global export:

    The Wall Street Journal
    December 9, 2012, 5:54 a.m. ET

    Japan Shows Off Its Missile-Defense System

    By
    CHESTER DAWSON

    TOKYO—Since North Korea shocked Japan by lobbing a rocket over the country nearly 15 years ago, the Japanese have spent $12 billion trying to make sure it never happens again. Japan now has the most sophisticated missile-defense system outside the U.S., a system poised for export to other nations.

    Japan’s ambitious, costly effort to protect itself from North Korea’s machinations and from potential threats from China could be tested as soon as Monday. That is the earliest date Pyongyang has said it plans to launch another multistage rocket that officials in Tokyo warn could fly on a trajectory over southernmost Japan. Over the weekend, North Korea said it may delay the launch to an unspecified date.

    Just as the success of Israel’s so-called Iron Dome antirocket system has attracted much attention in recent weeks, Japan’s multilayered ballistic-missile defense program using licensed U.S. technology has been moving quietly in recent years from the drawing board to full deployment nationwide.

    As part of the plan, starting as early as 2018, Japan is expected to begin full-scale production of a new generation of powerful interceptors developed jointly with the U.S., which wants the Japanese to export these missiles to other nations, in line with the recent softening of Tokyo’s decades-old ban on most weapons shipments.

    The latest state-of-the-art Japanese system uses both land-based Patriot-missile batteries and sea-based Aegis naval destroyers, along with dozens of radars. That makes Japan the only country outside the U.S. with both low-level and upper-tier defenses capable of intercepting threats beyond Earth’s atmosphere.

    “Japan is at the leading edge in that it’s the only nation other than the U.S. with SM-3” intermediate-range missile interceptors, said Shinichi Ogawa, a professor at Ritsumeikan Asia Pacific University and the former research director at the Japanese defense ministry’s National Institute for Defense Studies.

    In one sign of the developing capabilities of advanced-ballistic-missile defense, Japanese defense-ministry officials say they had the ability to pinpoint the location of North Korean long-range missiles launched in 2006 and 2009—iand hint Japan would have had no trouble intercepting them.

    “We precisely tracked both those missiles, so we are very confident in our system,” Masayuki Iwaike, director of missile-defense and space policy in the ministry’s defense-policy bureau, said in an interview.

    Even if Japanese destroyers are technically capable of intercepting a missile, Tokyo has indicated it is inclined to use land-based Patriots, and only if Japanese territory is endangered. Experts say a sea-based interdiction shortly after launch could be seen as an act of aggression by North Korea.

    The system was controversial when first proposed in 1993 due to its high cost and potential to antagonize neighboring states. But homegrown opposition evaporated five years later when North Korea sent a long-range multistage missile over northern Japan and into the Pacific Ocean.

    Following years of study, Japan reached an agreement with the U.S. in 2003 to license technology for its ballistic-missile defense.

    Since then, the program has accelerated, beginning with the first Patriot Advanced Capability-3 (PAC-3) and Aegis-equipped ship deployments in 2007. Today, Japan has 16 Patriot firing units capable of targeting low-level missiles and debris, and four Aegis destroyers armed with ballistic-missile interceptors.

    The next stage is potentially even more ambitious—and controversial. Japan and the U.S. are set to begin tests of a new interceptor with vastly expanded speed and range. A production version of those missiles is expected from 2018 and, in what some government officials call a game changer, the U.S. is pushing hard for Japan to transfer this technology to other allied countries with Aegis systems.

    Japan has agreed in principle to as much, as illustrated by a statement on the U.S. Missile Defense Agency’s home page about the spread of regional ballistic-missile defense, which says: “The SM-3 Block IIA, being codeveloped with Japan, is on schedule for deployment at Aegis Ashore sites in Romania and Poland, and aboard Aegis BMD ships at sea.”

    Japanese officials, sensitive to domestic and foreign wariness about Japan emerging as a global-weapons supplier, are quick to say that no formal decision has been made to move forward. But last year, Tokyo cleared the way by lifting a self-imposed ban on arms shipments overseas dating from 1967.

    “There are no concrete plans to deliver to a third party because we are still in the development phase,” said Mr. Iwaike of the defense ministry. “In theory, we could export them, but we haven’t done that.”

    Posted by Pterrafractyl | July 25, 2013, 10:35 pm
  3. Didn’t know it was the 68th aniversary of the dropping of the bomb on Hiroshima till I read the article from CNN linked below. It was a very unfortunate thing that so many innocent Japanese Civillians died on that day, and the days that followed. But it is also unfortunate how Japan chose to mark the 68th aniversary today. See linked article: http://www.cnn.com/2013/08/06/world/asia/japan-new-warship/index.html?hpt=hp_t2

    “Divine” Wind: Take 2.

    Posted by GK | August 6, 2013, 8:17 pm
  4. Mr. “Hurry up and die” has a new idea:

    Japanese government minister’s Nazi remarks cause furor

    By Jethro Mullen, CNN
    updated 8:06 AM EDT, Fri August 2, 2013

    (CNN) — 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 added: “I have no intention of denying democracy. Again, I repeat that we should not decide [constitutional revisions] in a frenzy.”

    In 1933, Adolf Hitler’s National Socialists turned the democratic Weimar Republic into a dictatorship using “a combination of legal procedure, persuasion, and terror,” according to the U.S. Library of Congress.

    Hitler used a fire that burned down the parliament building as a pretext to suppress the opposition through an emergency clause in the constitution. He then pushed through the Enabling Act, which allowed him to govern without parliament and vastly extend the Nazis’ grip on power.

    Words that hurt

    ‘Great misunderstandings’

    Aso responded Thursday to the criticism over his comments, which also came from opposition lawmakers in Japan, saying he regretted that the remarks had “caused great misunderstandings despite my true intentions.”

    He said that he had referred to the Nazi takeover of power as a “bad example” of constitutional revision because changes were forced through “in a commotion.” They should be done through calm debates instead.

    “I believe it is obvious that I feel extremely negatively about Nazi Germany, if you consider the entire context,” he said. “However, since these remarks have caused serious misunderstandings, I would like to retract them.”

    Japanese Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga told a news conference the same day that “the Abe administration definitely does not view Nazi Germany positively and I am sure Vice Prime Minister Aso himself does not either.”

    It’s not the first time Aso’s words have gotten him into hot water. At a meeting about social security reform and healthcare costs in January, he caused offense by suggesting it would be best for people on life support to “die quickly.”

    “Aso’s comment about Hitler and the implication that his example should be followed are utterly unacceptable,” the Asahi Shimbun, a daily newspaper, said in an editorial Friday. ” The remark is not something that Aso can get away with by simply retracting it.”

    Posted by Pterrafractyl | August 7, 2013, 8:47 am
  5. I just find this a very compelling human interest story:

    Hiroo Onoda Dead: Last Japanese WWII Soldier To Come Out Of Hiding Dies At 91
    By ELAINE KURTENBACH 01/17/14

    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2014/01/17/hiroo-onoda-dead_n_4616252.html

    TOKYO (AP) — Hiroo Onoda, the last Japanese imperial soldier to emerge from hiding in a jungle in the Philippines and surrender, 29 years after the end of World War II, has died. He was 91.

    Onoda died Thursday at a Tokyo hospital after a brief stay there. Chief government spokesman Yoshihide Suga on Friday expressed his condolences, praising Onoda for his strong will to live and indomitable spirit.

    “After World War II, Mr. Onoda lived in the jungle for many years and when he returned to Japan, I felt that finally, the war was finished. That’s how I felt,” Suga said.

    Onoda was an intelligence officer who came out of hiding, erect but emaciated, in fatigues patched many times over, on Lubang island in the Philippines in March 1974, on his 52nd birthday. He surrendered only when his former commander flew there to reverse his 1945 orders to stay behind and spy on American troops.

    Onoda and another World War II holdout, Sgt. Shoichi Yokoi, who emerged from the jungle in 1972, received massive heroes’ welcomes upon returning home.

    Before and during the war, Japanese were taught absolute loyalty to the nation and the emperor. Soldiers in the Imperial Army observed a code that said death was preferable to surrender.

    Onoda refused to give up, despite at least four searches during which family members appealed to him over loudspeakers and flights dropped leaflets urging him to surrender.

    In his formal surrender to Philippine President Ferdinand Marcos, Onoda wore his 30-year-old imperial army uniform, cap and sword, all still in good condition.

    After the initial sensation of his return home wore off, Onoda bought a ranch in Brazil. He later was head of a children’s nature school in northern Japan.

    “I don’t consider those 30 years a waste of time,” Onoda said in a 1995 interview with The Associated Press. “Without that experience, I wouldn’t have my life today.”

    Still, he showed a great zeal for making up for years lost.

    “I do everything twice as fast so I can make up for the 30 years,” Onoda said. “I wish someone could eat and sleep for me so I can work 24 hours a day.”

    The son of a teacher, Onoda worked for a Japanese trading firm in Shanghai after finishing high school in 1939. Three years later, he was drafted and trained at a military academy.

    In December 1944, he was sent to Lubang, about 150 kilometers (90 miles) southwest of Manila. Most other Japanese soldiers surrendered when U.S. troops landed on Lubang in February 1945, though hundreds remained missing for years after the war.

    As he struggled to feed himself, Onoda’s mission became one of survival. He stole rice and bananas from local people down the hill, and shot their cows to make dried beef, triggering occasional skirmishes.

    The turning point came on Feb. 20, 1974, when he met a young globe-trotter, Norio Suzuki, who ventured to Lubang in pursuit of Onoda.

    Suzuki quietly pitched camp in lonely jungle clearings and waited. “Oi,” Onoda eventually called out, and eventually began speaking with him.

    Suzuki returned to Japan and contacted the government, which located Onoda’s superior — Maj. Yoshimi Taniguchi — and flew him to Lubang to deliver his surrender order in person.

    ___

    Associated Press writer Mari Yamaguchi contributed to this report.

    Posted by Swamp | January 17, 2014, 10:10 am
  6. Posted by Dave Emory | January 17, 2014, 7:21 pm
  7. With Japan remilitarizing, the drone warfare capabilities is probably about to get a major upgrade in coming years. A very profitable upgrade:

    Bloomberg
    Japan Defense Shares Beats National Benchmark as Abe Beefs Up Military: Chart
    By Isabel Reynolds Aug 19, 2014 10:00 AM CT

    Defense-related shares in Japan beat the national benchmark and U.S. peers since Prime Minister Shinzo Abe came to power and embarked on a policy to strengthen the military and lower barriers to arms exports.

    The CHART OF THE DAY tracks defense gauges for Japanese, American and European equities and counterpart geographic benchmarks normalized from Dec. 14, 2012, just before Abe led an election victory, through Aug. 18. Goldman Sachs’s new Japan defense measure of 20 companies was the biggest gainer at 72 percent, with the Topix index next at 60 percent. In each pairing, the aerospace-military group beat the broader index, which also included the Standard & Poor’s 500 and FTSE Eurotop 100.

    “Since we expect the defense theme to become a long-term secular theme in the Japanese market, we see scope for improved relative performance ahead for related stocks,” Goldman Sachs analysts led by Chief Japan Equity Strategist Kathy Matsui said last week in a research note to unveil the gauge. Mitsubishi Heavy Industries Ltd., Kawasaki Heavy Industries Ltd. and Toshiba Corp. are among the component stocks.

    Boosting Japan’s military capabilities has been one of the focuses of the Abe government, amid a territorial dispute with an increasingly assertive China. In 2013 Abe increased the defense budget for the first time in 11 years, and this year relaxed an effective ban on defense export. Even with the changes, defense spending will account for less than 1 percent of gross domestic product, compared with 4 percent in the U.S. and 1.3 percent in China, according to estimates by Japan’s Ministry of Defense.

    That change “should provide Japanese firms with the opportunity to jointly develop defense technologies and manufacture equipment, as well as boost defense-related exports over time,” the Goldman analysts wrote. Abe’s cabinet also passed a resolution reinterpreting the constitution to allow Japan to defend other countries.

    Hopefully some of that new defense spending will include the development of radiation-hardened robots sporting super ice-rays. Radiation-hardened ice-bots, unlike most weapons systems, would have a number of duel-use capabilities that would be extremely useful for Japan’s domestic economy. And possibly exports.

    Posted by Pterrafractyl | August 20, 2014, 6:21 pm

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