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: Following on the heels of Shinzo Abe’s successful election campaign and return as Prime Minister, there has been a significant uptick in real or alleged military confrontations over disputed Islands in the North Pacific.
Conservative commentator Ambrose Evans-Pritchard has noted the possible drift toward war between Japan and China over the uninhibited and disputed Islands (Diayou to the Chinese, Senkaku to the Japanese). Predictably (perhaps), Evans-Pritchard places much of the blame on Chinese nationalism, a potent force in its own right.
Although he notes a 23% increase in Japanese appropriations for warships and aircraft, Evans-Pritchard appears to attribute a recent confrontation between Japanese and Chinese military forces over the islands to Chinese belligerence.
Not taken into account is a recent [alleged] Russian-Japanese confrontation over the long-disputed Kurile Islands north of Japan–a focal point of controversy dating back to the Second World War. In that incident last February, the Japanese have charged that Russian military aircraft penetrated Japanese airspace.
Russia has denied the charge, as the Chinese have denied locking-on fire control radar during their confrontation with Japanese forces. (We are in no position to make an objective determination on the veracity of these conflicting claims.)
Worth noting in this context is the fact that Shinzo Abe is the grandson of another Japenese Prime Minister–Nobosuke Kishi.
In an earlier political incarnation, Kishi was a Japanese war criminal, whose Liberal Democratic Party became a repository for unreconstructed forces of Japanese fascism. (Abe is also from the LDP.)
In addition to his laudable efforts at implementing “stimulus” economics, Abe has also struck a reactionary chord, endorsing revisionist historical and political analysis of Japan’s involvement in World War II, as well as implementing heightened militarism/nationalism.
One is compelled to consider the possibility that it is heightened Japanese militarism and nationalism that is stirring the “Pacific pot,” at the moment.
With Japan having endured a “lost decade” economically and the Japanese people still reeling from the Fukushima disaster, Abe’s revisionism/nationalism/militarism may be aimed at channeling social dissatisfaction into an expansionist, chauvinistic agenda.
It is worth noting that the last incident between the Russians and Japanese over the Kurile Islands took place in 2008, shortly after Abe was elected to an earlier term as Prime Minister.
Shortly after Abe’s reelection, there was another [alleged] incident with Russia over the Kuriles.
The timing of the Russian/Japanese confrontations suggests the possibility that the growing hostilities in that part of the world may well be due to increased Japanese militarism/nationalism.
For convenience, we present (below) part of the description for FTR #581. Note some of the similarities with the situation today–increased North Korean nuclear belligerence among them.
In evaluating the depressing developments in the Pacific, one should bear in mind the deep politics underlying the evolution of Japanese fascism.
IF the confrontations in the North Pacific escalate into war, it will not be good for this country.
EXCERPT: . . . . Japan’s national ideology is pacifist, and this is written into Article 9 of its constitution, which states that “the Japanese people forever renounce war as a sovereign right of the nation and the threat or use of force as means of settling international disputes.”
This peace complex adds a strange twist to events. It inhibits Japan as a muscular China presses its claim on the Diaoyu/Senkaku islands — a cluster of uninhabited rocks near Taiwan — and as Chinese warships push deep into Japanese waters.
Yet there is no doubt that Japan will fight.
“We simply cannot tolerate any challenge now, or in the future. No nation should underestimate the firmness of our resolve,” said Shinzo Abe, the hawkish premier bent on national revival.
After talking to Japanese officials in Tokyo over the last few days, I have the strong impression not only that they are ready to fight, but also that they expect to win, and furthermore that conflict may come at any moment.
“They are sending ships and even aircraft into our territory every day. It is intense provocation. We’re making every effort not to be provoked but they are using fire-control radar. This is one step away from conflict and we are very worried,” said a top government official.
Nothing has changed since outgoing US Defence Secretary Leon Panetta said China and Japan were drifting towards war, except for the Japanese defence budget. Spending on warships and aircraft will jump by 23% this year.
Internal Japanese documents say the situation has become “extremely dangerous” since the Chinese locked their weapons-guiding fire-control radar on a Japanese helicopter and then a destroyer in January, a dramatic escalation. The claim is denied by Beijing.
It was the risk of such incidents spinning out of control during the Cold War that led to the creation of the red-telephone “Hotline” between the US and the Soviet Union. No such hotline exists between Tokyo and Beijing.
Over at the revamped Defence Ministry — no longer the meek Self-Defence Force — a top military planner showed me maps detailing the movement of Chinese DDG warships and Yuan-class submarines through Japanese waters. The pressure point is Okinawa, a fresh source of controversy as Chinese academics start laying claim to that island as well. “If they can build a radar site in the Senkakus, it would be major strategic asset,” he said. . . .
EXCERPT: Japan’s military scrambled fighters Thursday after two Russian SU-27 jets entered Japanese airspace off Rishiri Island near the tip of Japan’s northernmost Hokkaido Island, according to the country’s Defense Ministry.
The Russian jets left Japanese airspace without incident after a little more than a minute, the ministry said.
The incident occurred near territory disputed by Japan and Russia since the end of World War II.
Japanese officials lodged an official protest with Russia over the incident, Japan’s Kyodo news service reported. . . .
Highlighting recent trends toward reviving the ultra-nationalism and historical revisionism of Japan’s fascist past, this program sets forth the political agenda being pushed by Shinzo Abe, the newly elected Prime Minister. The grandson of Japanese War Criminal Nobosuke Kishi, Abe has succeeded his grandfather as head of the LDP—itself a vehicle for the perpetuation of Japan’s World War II political and economic power structure.
With the Japanese people experiencing heightened stress and alienation because of economic pressures, the possibility of that social unrest expressing itself as militaristic nationalism and fascism is one possible result of the right-wing agenda being implemented by Abe.
In addition to authorizing a military buildup and moving to ease restrictions on the Japanese military, Abe has implemented a school curriculum that institutionalizes right-wing (“patriotic”) propaganda as a mandatory element of Japanese public education. It may well be that the recent North Korean atomic test will aid Abe’s agenda and push for rearmament.
Program Highlights Include: The view of the Japanese right-wing that American President Franklin Delano Roosevelt was responsible for World War II; Nobosuke Kishi’s activities in wartime Japan, including his signing of Japan’s declaration of war against the United States; the Unification Church of Sun Myung Moon’s financial aid to North Korea; review of the Unification Church’s role as an extension of the Japanese patriotic societies that brought fascism to Japan in the 1930’s; the possibility that Moon’s aid to North Korea may have been intended to aid that country’s nuclear buildup, thus providing an excuse for Japanese rearmament.