A Wine Tasting and Discussion about Japan Meeting was held as always on August 3, 2016 at the representative’s home. The guests included Mr. Hiromi Mitsubayashi, a doctor who has worked as professor in the School of Medicine at Nihon University and a member of the House of Representatives who was the Parliamentary Secretary for the Minister of Health, Labour and Welfare until August; Mr. Bryan Gould, Senior Consultant at The Redwood Group Japan, Ltd. who is involved in renewable energy (e.g. solar power) projects; Mr. Arashi Moritomo, who swayed a generation with T-BOLAN and who is still involved in musical activities; Mr. Fumiya Sako, President of the Romanian Chamber of Commerce and Industry in Japan and who is also a monk of the Jodo Shinshu school of Buddhism; and Mr. Masaaki Uchida, Representative Director of TOP CONNECT who carries out consulting operations to connect with top corporate management from a wealth of work experience and a broad network of contacts. They talked about a variety of topics – from politics to economics and culture.
Mr. Toshihiro Nikai has been appointed the new Secretary-General of the Liberal Democratic Party. Mr. Nikai has connections with both New Komeito and Ms. Yuriko Koike, who has been elected Governor of Tokyo. He does not think exactly the same way as Prime Minister Abe, but he is an excellent and well-balanced individual. Against the background of a new structure, as Mr. Nikai touched upon, the rules of the Liberal Democratic Party should be changed to make it possible for the president to serve a third time. This will allow Mr. Abe to remain as prime minister until he can attend the opening ceremony of the Tokyo Olympic Games that were clinched with his speech. It would then be difficult for the next President of the Liberal Democratic Party to be a man because he would be compared to Mr. Abe. Ms. Tomomi Inada, the new Minister of Defense, has been attracting a lot of attention. It would surely be best if she was the successor to Mr. Abe as the first female prime minister of Japan.
Forces seeking constitutional change now have two thirds of the seats in both the House of Councilors and House of Representatives after the House of Councilors election this summer. Nevertheless, the forces seeking constitutional change do not share the same ideas on which amendments are necessary. Therefore, it will not be possible to propose changes to the constitution immediately. However, there is no doubt a great opportunity to change the constitution during the administration of Prime Minister Abe. First, it would surely be best to establish that it is possible to change the constitution and to then make more thorough amendments subsequently. It would be great to see a proposal to make amendments to the constitution in the places where it will be easy to gain a consensus among the forces seeking change to the constitution and among the general public; for example, the preamble to the constitution.
High-tech stealth destroyers, like the United States’ Zumwatlt-class destroyers, have become the mainstream among naval forces around the world. These are equipped with cutting-edge science and technology weapons (e.g. laser cannons and rail guns). These weapons require gun barrels produced with Japanese steelmaking technology to manufacture nuclear reactor containment vessels. The Self-Defense Forces deployed a strategy to contain the submarines of the Soviet Union in the Sea of Japan during the Cold War with P-3C patrol aircraft. However, Japan’s opponent is now the Chinese navy which is seeking to increase the number of aircraft carriers in its possession. China is continuing to unilaterally landfill reefs in the South China Sea to turn them into bases and to interfere with the Senkaku Islands in the East China Sea. Meanwhile, North Korea has been launching missiles into the Japanese Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ). Tensions in East Asia are continuing to grow. The stable administration of Prime Minister Abe is now the time to strengthen our national power and make a move toward independent self-defense. It is also possible to have great expectations in Ms. Tomomi Inada, the new Minister of Defense.
There is absolutely no resolve on the part of North Korea to solve the issue of Japanese people abducted by that nation. This is a problem of intent on the Japanese side. Lebanon rescued women abducted by North Korea through tenacious negotiations. Japan sunk suspicious ships from North Korea that appeared frequently in the Sea of Japan one by one until there were no more in terms of Japan-North Korea relations. Recently, official ships from China have trespassed into Japanese territorial waters near the Senkaku Islands. Japan should take the same firm stance against such ships. The Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Japan is derelict in its duties. This ministry only takes actions that profit the opponents of Japan in concert with the media. It is necessary to have the “forceful backing” to say that Japan will sink ships that encroach upon our territorial waters if they do not comply with commands to leave in negotiations.
Mr. Kunio Oda, the former General of the Air Self-Defense Force, wrote on an Internet news site in June that aircraft of the Self-Defense Forces withdrew from the battlefield while using self-defense devices called flares when Chinese military fighters initiated attacking maneuvers against such aircraft that had scrambled over the East China Sea. This is big news. If true, the pressure on Japan by the Chinese military is greater than ever could possibly have been imagined. There is no right of innocent passage for airspace like with territorial waters. The fighter jets of the Chinese military are asserting sovereignty over the Senkaku Islands. Consequently, there is a very real possibility that aircraft of the Self-Defense Forces will be shot down for violating their airspace. The Japanese government has said that what Mr. Oda wrote is not true. However, he is not the type of person who would pass on hoaxes recklessly. Mr. Oda was part of the elite of the elite in the Air Self-Defense Force. He worked as a F4 fighter pilot in the Air-Self Defense Force, studied at the Air University in the United States and served as a visiting research fellow at Stanford University. He is a man of belief who did not become the Air Chief of Staff because he would not criticize the paper of Mr. Toshio Tamogami, the former Air Chief of Staff.
The Chinese People’s Liberation Army once focused its resources on its land forces. However, this army has rapidly expanded its naval and air forces in recent years by taking possession of aircraft carriers and introducing fifth generation fighter aircraft. This pressure is now starting to be directed at Japan. Nevertheless, Mr. Trump, the presidential candidate of the Republican Party in the United States, has made statements that suggest he would go as far as to remove the American forces based in Japan. Japan should urgently amend Article 9 of the constitution and develop/strengthen our defense forces. However, this will still take time to do so. Meanwhile, China will surely further strengthen its pressure on Japan. If we are to keep in check the Chinese military that is attempting to land on the Senkaku Islands, it will inevitably lead to bloodshed among members of the Japan Coast Guard and the Self-Defense Forces. There is a very real possibility that the Chinese military will end up occupying these islands if we do nothing because the media creates a furor. It is necessary to think seriously about this crisis. No matter how much the people urge the Self-Defense Forces on, if the right of belligerency is denied by the constitution and it is not possible to take legitimate self-defense at the same level as the police, it will not be possible to use weapons. The details of this can be found in the novel Sensen Fukoku (Declaration of War) by Mr. Iku Aso that has also be turned into a movie. The Self-Defense Forces will not be able to protect Japan in their current state. The people must properly learn and think about the security guarantee.
The U.S. presidential election is now an equal battle between Mr. Trump, the Republican Party candidate, and Mrs. Clinton, the Democratic Party candidate. It may well be that a win by Mr. Trump would be better for Japan than the China-friendly Mrs. Clinton becoming the president. This is because there is a possibility that the momentum for constitutional change/self-defense will increase in the United States and that this will be an opportunity to break free from that country in response to the calls by President Trump to review the state of affairs surrounding the American troops based in Japan. Mrs. Clinton has escaped prosecution from the FBI over the incident in which she used private mail servers for public service. However, doubts have arisen about whether the reason she escaped prosecution was because of political pressure. These doubts are preventing her support from growing. There are also concerns for Mrs. Clinton in that she is not attracting high levels of support from women even though she herself is female. If Mr. Trump is victorious in the televised debates by the presidential candidates from both the Republican Party and the Democratic Party, it seems likely that he will become the president.
Mr. Gould is now taking on the challenge of the solar business in Kenya in Africa. Business in Kenya is now at its most enticing. Although the character of the country remains infested with kickbacks and similar, the nation has the advantage of speaking English because it was once a British colony. The country is now experiencing rapid economic development. Uganda and Rwanda are the neighboring countries of Kenya. Rwanda is known for the genocide that occurred in the country in 1994. However, the cause of this genocide was the occupational policy taken by its former colonial power of Belgium. The people of the country who were originally of the same tribe were divided into rich Tutsi and other Hutu based on the number of cattle they possessed. The minority Tutsi governed the majority Hutu as intermediaries of Belgium. After independence, the president was elected by the majority Hutu. The Tutsi resisted this by organizing anti-government forces and the country then temporarily fell into civil war. The personal airplane carrying the president was shot down by a ground-to-air missile when it seemed like peace might be about to break out and he died. This led to the Hutu regime and Hutu extremists massacring Tutsi and Hutu moderates. It is said that about 800,000 people were killed in this incident. This is truly a case in which the divide and conquer strategy pursued by the Western powers gave birth to tragedy.
There is a flow of incorrect information about Japan overseas. It is the media in Japan and overseas that is conveying this incorrect information as if it were true. Japan has taken a weak attitude to this and overlooked these mistakes in silence up to now. However, we should not have to put up with this indefinitely. In addition to the media, politicians should also be striving to convey correct information about Japan overseas. It is very important to think strategically and make sure to win both in business and national politics. It is fine to win or lose in individual battles. At the Battle of Okehazama, Oda Nobunaga achieved victory by launching a surprise attack to target the opposing general as his overall strategy regardless of whether individual soldiers killed or were killed if seen. In the previous war, the Japanese Army was defeated in the Pacific Ocean but won in mainland China. However, the army was defeated because of a failure in their strategy to prolong the war without thinking about supplies. One more cause of the defeat in the previous war was that a simulation was not strategically carried out up to the end of the war unlike with the Russo-Japanese War. In the Russo-Japanese War, there was a scenario in which the navy would annihilate the enemy fleet in the Sea of Japan while the army would retaliate to the extent it would not be defeated even if it could not beat the Russian army and then wait for peaceful mediation by a third nation. However, in the previous war, Admiral Isoroku Yamamoto of the navy committed the folly of starting the hostilities without anticipating their end. For example, he relied on half-hearted replies such as “we will struggle on for half a year or a year and then see.” If Japan had fought against the United States strategically, the army and navy would have worked together to attack Pearl Harbor. The army would then have occupied Hawaii and obtained rich stockpiles of oil and docks. After this, Japan should have attacked the Panama Canal to prevent the entry of the Atlantic Fleet into the Pacific Ocean. It would then have been possible to make a proposal for peace to the United States on favorable terms at that stage.
Our reputation as a successful business model in the hotel sector is continuing to grow. APA Hotel is being flooded with various business proposals from all over the world. Among them, there are those from owners of hotels with 300,000 rooms. The deal we have chosen this time is to take over a company with 39 hotels in Canada and the United States. This means that we now suddenly have 40 hotels overseas in addition to the APA Hotel Woodbridge that opened in June in New Jersey in the United States. “You’ll be back.” This is our catchphrase for the global expansion of APA Hotel that was created by commissioning one of the largest advertising companies in the world. This means that if you stay at an APA hotel once, you will definitely want to revisit us because you will want to stay at one of our hotels the next time and the time after that. Meanwhile, we are also brimming with large development projects in Japan. We are currently constructing a 2,400-room hotel in Yokohama, a 1,000-room hotel in Ryogoku Kokugikan and a new hotel in front of the Prime Minister’s official residence. Moreover, in addition to our existing building in Roppongi, we are currently working on plans to construct five new buildings to create a hotel with a total of six buildings.