Russia announced that it would ban imports of products such as meat, fish, fruit, and dairy products from the United States, European Union, and other locations as a countermeasure against the economic sanctions imposed on Russia due to the situation in Ukraine. The ban will last for one year and does not include Japan. Perhaps the exclusion of Japan is a strategy by President Vladimir Putin aimed at creating a division between the West and Japan. The principle responsibility for this relationship of tension between Russia and the U.S. and Europe belongs to President Barack Obama
According to “The Era of a New World War” by Nobuhiko Ochiai in the September 2014 issue of SAPIO magazine, Quinnipiac University Polling Institute in the U.S. released a national public opinion poll in July, which said that 33% of the respondents believe Obama is the worst president of the postwar era. This is evidence that many Americans have given up on Obama, who has not done anything about the conflicts in Syria and Ukraine and is staying silent even as South Korea is joining up with China.
In addition, on August 8 the "Just Arguments" column in the Sankei Shimbun newspaper contained clear criticisms of Obama by Hokkaido University Professor Emeritus Hiroshi Kimura, who said Obama has allowed the postwar order to crumble. International order after World War II has prohibited changes to territories and national borders through the use of military force or threats, yet Putin has annexed Crimea, the traditional territory of Ukraine. As a result, the relationship between Russia and the West has worsened, and Russia was effectively excommunicated from the major countries (G8).Therefore, multiple sanctions have been imposed.
Early in his second term, Obama was awarded the prestigious Nobel Peace Prize for his meritorious vision of a world without nuclear weapons. This was worthy of congratulations, but Obama has come to prominently display an attitude of restraining even the usage of general military force to the maximum degree, not just in regards to nuclear weapons.
When the crisis occurred in Ukraine, Obama quickly declared that the American government would use any means to impose sanctions on Russia for its annexation of Crimea and other violations of international law, excluding the exercise of military strength.
Conflicts can only be resolved by indicating possibilities and judgments that utilize both “soft” and “hard” power.
Upon his return to the Kremlin, Putin set forth conservatism as the new ideology for justifying his third term of governance. It involves esteem for the unique traditions, culture, and values of the Russian people, and firmly excludes interference from outside parties. This is the central concept. Through this innovation, Putin is attempting to emphasize the rejection of the American- and European-type models related to democracy and the market economy, and to specifically promote anti-American sentiments and Russian nationalism.
The recent disorder in Ukraine began when the antigovernment side – centered on the pro-Western faction – used illegal methods such as demonstrations to remove pro-Russian President Viktor Yanukovych. However, the history behind this issue is much older. During the 1930s in the era of the Soviet Union, to “Russianize” Ukraine the government created an artificial famine (Holodomor) and caused several million Ukrainians to starve to death. Russians immigrated to Ukraine to make up for this portion of the population, and the ratio of Russian people grew especially large in the eastern part of the country. Ukraine gained independence when the Soviet Union collapsed in 1991. Even among the Soviet Union region, eastern Ukraine is a manufacturing area with industries such as aviation and defense. The Crimean Peninsula is a base for the Black Sea Fleet, and so Russia certainly did not want to relinquish it. Russia desired to annex eastern Ukraine no matter what.
The Czech Republic, Hungary, and Poland joined NATO in 1999, followed by the three Baltic nations of Latvia, Estonia, and Lithuania in 2004. Russia felt a strong sense of fear regarding the possibility of Ukraine joining NATO, which would result in Russia being encircled by NATO countries. And when the lawful, pro-Russian President Yanukovych was removed via unlawful, pro-Western demonstrations, Russia’s sense of impending crisis reached a climax. It is impossible to understand the Ukraine issue without affirming this feeling possessed by Russia, yet the reports by the Western media are certainly not impartial.
During his third term, Putin sent pro-Russian armed insurgents (including mercenaries mobilized during the Chechen War) to oppose pressure from NATO and the pro-Western faction. When it seemed likely they would be destroyed in aerial bombing by the regular Ukrainian army, Putin then provided Buk (a mobile anti-aircraft missile system) to be aimed at bombers. As a result, a Malaysia Airlines airplane was mistakenly shot down. The U.S. and Europe responded with various types of sanctions, which made Russia decide to impose the ban as described at the beginning of this essay.
Obama’s stance is notably weak in regards to the self-assured Putin. This is the main cause for the chaos in the world today, beyond Syria and Ukraine. As the U.S. Armed Forces are being withdrawn from Asia, the U.S. is not responding in an appropriate way to the expanding China, which is why China is causing disputes with Japan at the Senkaku Islands in the East China Sea, as well as at the Spratly Islands and Paracel Islands with the Philippines and Vietnam in the South China Sea. While countries such as China and Russia are implanting policies to expand their dominion and territorial waters – just like the era of imperialism – the U.S. is making a complete change from its over-commitment during the Cold War era. It is displaying an attitude that stresses internal affairs (which could be called the “New Monroe Doctrine”) and enforcing annual expenditures cuts by reducing its national defense budget by 500 billion dollars over the next 10 years (the equivalent of five trillion yen per year, which is the same level as Japan’s defense budget).
Obama avoided air strikes in Syria in September of last year, saying the U.S. is not the policeman of the world and stating that he was opposed to the necessity of exercising military force because it is not possible to resolve civil wars in other countries after two wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. An enormous number of people were sacrificed (approximately 8,000 soldiers died in the Iraq War and invasion of Afghanistan) to somehow bring stability to Iraq. After the withdrawal, the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIS; an Islamic extremist group) has expanded its influence, and has gained possession of and rules the northern part of Iraq. The U.S. carried out aerial bombing to protect the Yazidis (a Kurdish minority group) who were being attacked by ISIS, as well as to protect the U.S. Armed Forces and from the viewpoint of the humanity of the Kurdish people. However, it is clear that ISIS cannot be stopped just by air strikes, involving bombs dropped from fighter aircraft and drone attacks. Sooner or later, Iraq will be torn asunder by civil war just like Libya.
The reason conflict occurred in Ukraine – poised between the U.S. (which is withdrawing from Europe, Asia, and the Middle East) and NATO (which became inattentive after the end of the Cold War) – is because Obama (who worked to inhibit the general exercise of military force to the maximum degree) created a vacuum of power that led to war. The same thing happened in Iraq; a vacuum was created when the U.S. withdrew, and ISIS emerged and insists it has possession of vast lands from Syria to Iraq. To maintain a balance of power in East Asia (where nuclear weapons are possessed by the expanding China, Russia, and North Korea), Japan needs a National Diet decision to abolish the three antinuclear principles and implement the nuclear sharing arrangement the U.S. has concluded with four NATO countries (Germany, Italy, Belgium, and the Netherlands). In this arrangement, nuclear weapons are shared, equipment is provided, and nuclear weapons are stored inside the countries. Moreover, Japan must obtain the ability to wage information strategy warfare.
In addition to the Senkaku Islands and Takeshima, China and South Korea are attempting to claim that even Okinawa and Tsushima are their territories. For that reason, they spread false information throughout the world – like saying that 300,000 people were killed in Nanking and 200,000 comfort women were forcibly transported from the Korean Peninsula as sexual slaves – and take acts such as erecting comfort woman statues. In this way, even European and American intellectuals currently believe these stories are true. The main cause behind this situation is Seiji Yoshida’s “confessions” – which were utter lies – included in his books including My War Crimes that was published in 1983. For example, he said the military commanders engaged in the “hunting” of Korean women in locations such as Jejudo to forcibly transport them and make them serve as comfort women during the war. The Asahi Shimbun reported on this multiple times. Reporter Takashi Uemura, even though he knew these things were untrue, repeatedly made false reports that said Kim Hak-sun (who claimed to be a former comfort women) was transported to battlefields as part of the so-called “women’s volunteer corps.” Moreover, in an evening column on January 13, 1992, editorial writer Kiyoyasu Kitahata of the Asahi Osaka Head Office wrote the following in an article entitled “Comfort Women” (this became a primary cause for why comfort women were regarded as sexual slaves for the army who were forcibly transported):
In my memories, I sometimes feel heartfelt pain when I think of the forcible transport of comfort women. Yoshida and 10 or 15 subordinates went to the Korean Peninsula. Together with 50 government-generals or 100 policemen, they surrounded villages and drove the women out onto the roads. They hit young women with wooden swords, kicked the women, and packed them into trucks. Three or 10 women were forced from a single village and put in the police jail. When the number reached the planned 100 or 200 women, they were transported to Shimonoseki. The women were handed over to civilians in military employ at the open space within the army barracks, and then sent to the front lines. Yoshida forcibly transported at least 950 women. He wrote, “The state powers used the police to abduct women in colonies who were incapable of running away. They were brought to battlefields and confined for one or two years and gang raped. When the Japanese Army left, the women were abandoned on the battlefields. Among the Koreans I transported, I believe half of the men and all of the women died.”
Because articles of this sort are continually published in one of Japan’s major newspapers, of course people across the world believe that Japan forcibly transported 200,000 comfort women from Korea and forced them into sexual slavery. Recently, the Asahi Shimbun finally – for the first time in 32 years – published an article verifying that these past reports were incorrect. However, it did not contain an apology. I believe this is not a mistake; the anti-Japanese Asahi Shimbun falsified information, which is the worst crime committed by the media in the postwar era. I feel that all people involved, starting with the president, should apologize publically, and the president should immediately resign.
Matters of this sort have been leveraged by China and Korea, and people believe that even clear lies are true. To compensate for Japan’s weak propaganda power up until now, Japan should create a “Ministry of Information” with 3,000 employees and a yearly budget of around 300 billion yen. It should be tuned in to media reports concerning Japan in all languages, and should refute any mistaken reports within 24 hours, asking for them to be amended. A major cause of Japan’s defeat in World War II was that its navy and diplomatic codes had been deciphered, but nothing can be concealed in the present era. According to information leaked by former CIA employee Edward Snowden, even the personal mobile phone of German Chancellor Angela Merkel had been wiretapped, which shocked the world. In August, a separate person uploaded a list of 680,000 terrorists under observation in the U.S. Disclosures of this sort cannot be stopped.
There are still many Japanese people who believe in the fairytale that says Japan has enjoyed peace thanks to Article 9 of the Constitution. But in reality, the U.S. (which possesses mighty military strength) concluded the U.S.-Japan Security Treaty to prevent Japan from rearming and reaching its hand towards other countries, which is why peace has been maintained in Japan. But considering the withdrawing U.S. and ascending China, in the future there is no assurance that peace can be preserved in Japan. At this timing, it is extremely momentous that the Shinzo Abe Cabinet made a cabinet decision approving the exercise of the right to collective defense. Moreover, Prime Minister Abe is also attempting to pave the way towards arms exports and joint research.
We are about to enter the era of fully automated weapons. In addition to unmanned spy planes, unmanned attack aircraft are also being deployed. On August 8, the front page of the Yomiuri Shimbun included an article entitled, “Japan and the U.S. are Researching Unmanned Submarines.” It said the Ministry of Defense and U.S. Armed forces are first developing high-efficiency fuel cells in order to develop unmanned submarines that can be operated successively in the ocean for one month. According to the article, “At first the plan was for Japan to carry out this research independently, but the U.S. Armed Forces displayed strong interest, and discussions were begun towards collaborative research.” If this development is successful, small unmanned submarines equipped with torpedoes could be used to understand the movements of large submarines and warships, and could even render them powerless. In other words, it would be possible to invest a small amount of money to destroy the large investments of other countries. In addition to the example of submarines, if cheap, anti-aircraft missiles could be reliably used to shoot down high-priced fighter aircraft, the fighter aircraft would no longer be reasonable.
Japan, a technology-oriented country, possesses advanced, world-renowned sciences and technologies. Up until now Japan has merely used these technologies to create defensive weapons, but if it were to build offensive weapons I believe it would be possible to create epoch-making weapons that could drastically change traditional weapons systems. This may be a major theme in Japanese weapon development. Deterrence must be enhanced for highly reliable security guarantees, but offensive ability is absolutely advantageous to that end. It is essential that Japan possess the ability to attack in retribution, which would reduce the other party’s will to attack. In the past Japan’s advanced technologies have been purchased cheaply in hard bargains and taken to the U.S., and Japan has been made to buy weapons incorporating these technologies at high prices. Japan should be more assertive so that it can obtain proper compensation for these technologies.
During the Cold War, a certain type of order was maintained via confrontation between the East (centered on the Soviet Union) and West (centered on the U.S.). No other troubles occurred, but today countries are fighting with no order for the sake of their own national interests. It would not be an exaggeration to say that now is the era of new imperialism. At this time – so that Japan can maintain the economic prosperity and peace it built after World War II – Japan will be required to personally guard the balance of power in East Asia. And so that Japanese technologies can be utilized for the sake of peace across the world, Japan must use its advanced sciences and technologies to develop offensive weapons such as laser cannons that can intercept nuclear ballistic missiles, ultra-high-speed ballistic missiles that utilize satellites and have a destructive power that rivals small nuclear weapons, etc.
The press code created directly after the war by the Supreme Commander for the Allied Powers (GHQ) has had major impacts on postwar Japan. Under the press code, the GHQ used Japanese censors based on a war guilt information program to carry out the thorough manipulation of speech as a way to prevent disadvantages to the U.S. and other Allies. Even though the press code was invalidated by the Treaty of San Francisco, it has been maintained until today via the media’s voluntary restraints. Afterwards, the Japanese censors moved into universities, the media, and other fields. This was inherited by a group called a “stealth complex” composed of elite graduates from the University of Tokyo’s Faculty of Law (people who are skilled at rote memory) with high deviation values. They profited from Japan’s war defeat and took control of the bureaucracy, financial world, political world, legal circles, and the mass media. They have dominated Japan in cooperation with the U.S. and devoted energy to implementing the U.S.-Japan Regulatory Reform and Competition Policy Initiative. The privatization of Japan Post was also specified by this initiative; former Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi merely carried it out. Koizumi, a politician in the American faction, is now conducting an anti-nuclear power movement with former Prime Minister Morihiro Hosokawa. This is because the major American oil companies don’t want Japan to restart its nuclear plants, which would reduce crude oil prices that may fall because of shale gas development in the U.S. Because nuclear power generation has been stopped, increased costs of oil imports for thermal power generation to the tune of 3.6 trillion yen are flowing to the major oil companies each year.
Since he took up his post, Abe has proactively traveled overseas and will have visited 49 countries as of this September – the largest number of any prime minister. The creation of an encircling net around China through this worldwide cooperation, in order to isolate China, is a pressing task in terms of Japan’s security guarantees. Today, Japan needs pro-Japanese politicians. Pro-Japanese, conservative political parties must make great strides in the national election that will be held the year after next. The most important thing is for the Abe Liberal Democratic Party (LDP) to become a long-term government by not being seen as the farthest right party, which could be accomplished by highlighting the fact that parties such as the Next-Generation Party centered on Takeo Hiranuma and Shintaro Ishihara, as well as the Japan Genuine Conservative Party established by Toshio Tamogami, are more conservative than the LDP. I will do all I can to support Abe so that he can personally conduct the opening ceremony to the Olympic Games.6:00 p.m., August 21, 2014 (Thursday)