Japan continues with its military buildup this time with the most recent news that Japan will be taking on an increased role in “global defense” despite opposition from most Japanese. It is according to political and corporate insiders in Japan called “proactive pacifism“). It would be better to call it “proactive military gradualism”. The idea of “defense” goes back to just after the end of WWII when the US Pentagon changed the name Department of War to the Department of Defense to mask the past 70 years of destabilizing one country after another more recently the destruction of Syria. America is exerting increasing pressure on Japan to increase militarization. To mask this fact, Japan calls on its ideologues to formulate a reason. So don’t anyone be fooled by the concept of “defense” here, not when Japan has redirected its military budget to purchase and construct military hardware and to purchase what it doesn’t manufacture from the Anglo-Americans including missile systems to fend off that big bully North Korea (that alleged cyber assault on an American movie studio by North Korea was bullshit by the way).
In 2013, Michiko Hasegawa was appointed by Japan’s Prime Minister Shinzo Abe after being nominated by the Diet to be on the board of governors of the National Broadcasting Corporation (NHK). Michiko Hasegawa is a professor emeritus at Saitama University who specializes in comparative ideology (ideologies and ideologists are potentially dangerous especially when they start invoking religious sentimentality and spirituality) and Japanese cultural studies. Before Hasegawa was appointed to the Board of Governors of NHK by PM Shinzo Abe, she wrote a number of essays paying tribute to Shusuke Nomura. Nomura was a right-wing nationalist who killed himself at Asahi Shinbun’s head office in Tokyo’s Chuo Ward in October, 1993. The reason Nomura took his own life apparently, was because of his fanatical support of Japan’s emperor. Just before he pulled out a gun, he yelled three times “sumeramikoto iyasaka” (long live the emperor), and then blasted himself in the stomach (seppuku pistol style) in front of a group of Asahi Shinbun (newspaper) executives.
Hasegawa called the suicide “a spiritual act” and has honored Shusuke Nomura ever since in essays she wrote about what his suicide meant. Shinzo Abe and Michiko Hasegawa had dinner together in Abe’s official residence before Hasegawa was appointed to the board of governors of NHK, and when asked for an opinion on Hasegawa’s essays on Nomura, Shinzo Abe said he didn’t have an opinion because he didn’t read the essays. Now we get into the sensitive area of Japan’s emperor who according to Hasegawa, “is a ‘akitsumikami‘ (deity who is a human being).” If that doesn’t harken back to the good old days of Emperor Hirohito, I don’t know what does? Call the God’s of Japan to re-militarize. From an article published on Hasegawa’s support of the dead Nomura, we read this:
In her memorial piece dedicated to the 58-year-old Nomura, Hasegawa praised the manner of his suicide because he invoked the emperor “who is not only the distant descendant of Japan’s gods, but is also himself an ‘akitsumikami‘ (deity who is a human being).”
If Hasegawa made the claim Nomura’s suicide was a “spiritual act”, how would she describe the suicide of the Japanese man who on June 29, 2012 climbed up on an overpass immediately outside of Shinjuku Station, and then after an hour of yelling into a megaphone his opposition to LDP plans under Shinzo Abe to increase Japan’s militarization, doused himself with petroleum out of two plastic bottles and then torched himself? Was that a “spiritual act?” Or just another run-of-the-mill suicide? How do these acts of suicide get looked at ideologically like with Nomura’s suicide and what it meant for Hasegawa? Are both suicides “spiritual acts” or just in the case of Nomura who Hasegawa praised?
If one suicide is for the emperor and the other suicide wasn’t, isn’t it apparent ideologists are using the death of Nomura to their ideological advantage? That’s what ideologists do for the state? The man who killed himself by self-immolation has been completely ignored by NHK and the media in Japan. Flipped off as just some nut. Then later in the year on November 12, 2012 another man, this time in Ueno Park, went up in flames to demonstrate his opposition to the restraints being taken off Japan’s Self-Defense forces under Shinzo Abe. Outside of a few obscure news reports his suicide has also been completely ignored. How do the “God’s of Japan” view the suicides of these two Japanese men opposed to militarism? Are they any more or less fanatical than Nomura’s blasting a hole in his stomach suppuku style for the emperor?
Japanese man sets self on fire at Shinjuku Station, Tokyo, in self immolation protest
Tokyo Rising: Japan Seeks Expanded Role in ‘Global Defense and Security’
February 19, 2016
Despite its pacifist constitution, Japan plans to play a larger role in “global defense and security.” The move comes amid pressure from the United States, and likely won’t sit well with Japanese citizens already fed up with the administration’s new military adventurism.
“The world faces growing security international threats and Japan wants to play a leading role in combating this,” Keiichi Katakami, Japan’s ambassador to the EU, said in Brussels this week.
“Japan and the rest of the world are facing fresh challenges by those who choose to use force and intimidation.”
Protesters sitting on the ground with placards take part in a rally against Japan’s Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s security bill and his administration in front of the parliament in Tokyo, September 18, 2015.
Katakami’s comments refer partly to Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s recent approval of a $41.4 billion defense budget. This marks the most Tokyo has spent on defense since the end of World War II, when Japan adopted a pacifist clause into its constitution.
That money will go toward acquiring new ship-borne interceptors, and the upgrading of two of Japan’s existing Aegis ships. The government is also considering buying the land-based Terminal High Altitude Area Defense (THAAD) system from the United States.
Japan’s Ministry of Defense has also compiled a hefty shopping list of new military hardware. This includes 11 AAV7 amphibious assault vehicles, 17 Mitsubishi SH-60K anti-submarine warfare helicopters, four Bell Boeing V-22 Osprey tilt-rotor aircraft, three RQ-4 Global Hawk drones, six F-35A Lightning II fighters, one Kawasaki C-2 military transport aircraft, and 36 new combat vehicles.
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