Barack Obama, the President of the United States, who announced the intention to seek a ban on nuclear weapons in a speech given in Prague of the Czech Republic in April of last year, was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize.
Giving President Obama the award although he has not accomplished anything yet was because of the hope of banning nuclear weapons in the future. However, once nuclear weapons are produced, they will never be destroyed. The only exception has been the case of South Africa, where the destruction was carried out because the white government did not want to give the control of nuclear arms to the new black government. The United States continuously demanded ? as it had done previously to North Korea – that India and Pakistan abandon their nuclear development programs, but those countries continued the programs and eventually succeeded in building nuclear weapons.
Although America had taken a tough stance – such as imposition of economic sanctions – before the accomplishment, their attitude became flexible in order to stop proliferation of nuclear weapons, in the same way as American had done with North Korean – once the nuclear weapons were developed.
Even though President Obama gave a speech to eliminate nuclear weapons, it does not mean that America will dismantle their own arms, but instead means they intended to forestall other countries from possessing nuclear arms. Nuclear weapons are so powerful that stockpiles are not proportional to their threat. Even if the United States reduced their arms, the remaining weapons still pose enough of a threat to intimidate other countries. In sum, President Obama intends to prevent nuclear proliferation in exchange for downsizing nuclear nations’ stockpiles in stages; it’s not a brand-new story.
The international section of the Yomiuri Shimbun on December 11th reported that a poll by CNN U.S. and Opinion Research Corporation in September had shown that “19 percent had answered that ‘President Obama deserves the Nobel Peace Prize.’ which then dropped 13 percentage points in October, and, on the other hand, those who answered ‘He does not deserve the Peace Prize.’ increased from 67 percent to 80 percent casting a huge shadow of public doubt as to whether he merits the award.
Obama’s acceptance speech in Oslo was amazing. What I was particularly impressed by was that he mentioned the idea of “just war” and a word of “fair peace” by saying “We are not mere prisoners of fate. Our actions matter, and can bend history in the direction of justice.” His “essence” of peace is that “Peace is not equal to not having visible dispute. Only fair peace based on individual dignity and indigenous right can be sustainable.”
Although World War III has not occurred yet, something crueler than war has been taking place in the world from the time of World War II to the present day. For instance, what did Mao Tse-tung do in China? He sacrificed far more Chinese citizens than there were war victims only in order to establish his autocratic regime and maintain his power. The Cultural Revolution from the late 1960s to early 1970s was started by Mao to recapture the regime from Liu Shaoqi, leaded to a large-scale power game in the directive board of the Chinese Communist Party, which escalated to the Great Purges and enveloped the general public.
Through this violent mass movement instigated by the board, first capitalists such as businessmen, and then intellectuals such as scholars, doctors and lawyers, became targets of suppression. Then, the object of the suppression expanded to Chinese Communists. During this time a large number of human resources and cultural properties were severely damaged. Including the Great Leap Forward which ignited the Cultural Revolution, the number of massacre victims and the people who went “missing” is estimated to be between thirty million to seventy million. China’s economic development was allegedly delayed thirty years due to this policy. Mineo Nakajima, a political scientist specializing in current Chinese politics, estimates that the total number of Chinese citizens who were victims of suppression, persecution, and genocide has reached approximately two hundred million people since the establishment of the People’s Republic of China.
Similarly, in Cambodia, about two to three million people, a third of its citizens, were killed by slaughter and starvation in a time span of only four years from 1976 to 1980 under Pol Pot’s regime. Also, in Rwanda, where I visited last year, between eight hundred thousand to one million people were slaughtered in a one hundred day period in 1994. Government troops and Hutu hard-line militia butchered millions of Tutsi citizens after a plane carrying the Hutu president was shot down by a missile and he died.
Again, I quote Obama’s speech, “I believe that peace is unstable where citizens are denied the right to speak freely or worship as they please; choose their own leaders or assemble without fear. Pent-up grievances fester, and the suppression of tribal and religious identity can lead to violence. We also know the opposite is true. Only when Europe became free did it finally find peace.” As President Obama stated, it is not right to regard not having war as peace. How can we call a suppressed situation peace?
Though the exact number may not be clear until the current regime in North Korea collapses, it is very likely that in North Korea more than one million people have become victims through: starvation, suppression, persecution, and butchery; and currently more than one hundred and fifty thousand people are kept under restraint. Also, a large number of foreigners including Japanese citizens have been abducted and not been released before now. Such a country has nuclear weapons aiming at large cities in Japan now. Furthermore, Japan is surrounded by nuclear nations, such as China and Russia. There is a passage in Obama’s speech, “The belief that peace is desirable is rarely enough to achieve it. Peace requires responsibility. Peace entails sacrifice.” Prime Minister Hatoyama’s idealism that peace can be maintained by claiming fraternalism is quite dangerous in the current situation in East Asia.
Looking at the Futenma issue, the Hatoyama administration is torn between their coalition partner the Social Democratic Party and the United States. Looking at the lack of leadership of Prime Minister Hatoyama on this issue, I cannot help but thinking that this regime will be short lived.
In the political section of the December 11th, 2009 issue of the Asahi Shinbun, there is an article titled “small party sways the coalition.” In the article, “in order to strengthen their influence, Mizuho Fukushima (party leader of the Social Democratic Party (SDP)) and Shizuka Kamei (party head of the People’s New Party (PNP)) contacted each other via cell-phone and cooperated with each other for mutual benefit during the ministers’ cabinet meeting. Both have de facto ‘veto’ power (Mr. Kamei mentioned) in the Ministerial Committee on Basic Policies and play a game of brinkmanship.
Naoto Kan showed discontent by saying ‘This is not Fukushima Government nor Kamei Government ” However, there is composition of legislative seats is in the background of both parties’ strong attitude. The Democratic Party of Japan (DPJ) acquired 308 seats, close to two thirds of seats in the House of Representatives, but they are 13 seats short of two thirds. Also, they are 7 seats short of a majority in the House of Councilors. Due to these factors, both party leaders (Mr. Kamei and Ms. Fukushima) feel strongly confident of their position and importance especially in relation to the election of the House of Councilors. This confidence comes from inferring the intentions of secretary-general Ichiro Ozawa who is afraid of their secession from the coalition and wants to maintain the coalition by any means.”
I believe that it is better to cooperate with a party or members of the Diet who agree with the DPJ’s policy in partial coalition because uniting all the opposition parties can rarely happen even though dissolving the coalition partnership with SDP and PNP creates a twisted state in the House of Councilors by losing majority seats. Therefore, they should daringly dissolve the coalition and immediately decide on a policy of pending issues. Otherwise, they will keep being pushed around by the SDP and PNP. They should remember the example of the Liberal Democratic Party (LDP) that gradually lost its support and slipped from the position of ruling party by being the sport of the Komeito which was as if the tail was wagging the dog. It is required of Prime Minister Hatoyama to make a strong resolution at once. Otherwise, the Hatoyama regime will gradually lose their support and trust not only domestically but also internationally. Once again, the DPJ needs to draw a picture of what they should do as a ruling party without being bound by their previous manifests. In any case, if they keep straying, Japan will be deprecated by neighboring countries.
Afraid that Japan would become strong again, the United States created a policy to weaken Japan completely during the occupation. However, they probably did not expect that the effects of their labefaction would still remain in place even 64 years after the war. Citizens cannot decide their own affairs and even the Prime Minister cannot determine his regime’s line of policy. The herbivory phenomenon applies to Japan. One example was reported in the evening edition of the Asahi Shinbun newspaper on December 11th. The title of the article was, “Hesitancy to studying abroad in the States,” and the article states that the number of Japanese people going and studying in the States decreased after peaking at forty seven thousand people in 1997 and became thirty four thousand people in 2007. On the other hand, Chinese international students to the States increased to twice as many as they were ten years ago. The article says, “Even students who ‘want to go abroad and learn English’ have a strong impression about America, ‘in America the competition is fierce,’ and instead desire to go to Canada or Australia with the intention of ‘learning slowly and at a relaxed pace.’” Since when did the Japanese people lose their grit?
Even though it is the result of an election, the current situation of the ruling party that has different opinions within itself and cannot decide anything is horrible- the ruling party is composed of the DPJ that can be called “the mutual assisting group for winning elections” having each different policies, and two coalition parties having antithetical policies. Meanwhile, Mr. Ozawa, the secretary general of the DPJ, paid a courtesy call to China leading a total of six hundred people including one hundred forty three members of the Diet. Viewed objectively, his figure frolicking about taking pictures with president Hu Jintao appears so pathetic.
In addition, as a political present for his Chinese hosts, Ozawa confirmed an audience between the Emperor of Japan and the Chinese National Vice President Xi Jinping, who is a candidate for the next presidency in China. Although there is a protocol called “the one month rule” that an audience between the Emperor and a foreign VIP has to be requested in written form one month prior to the desired date, an interview for December 15th was requested by the Chinese government late in November. The offer was initially rejected, but, under strong pressure and insistence from the Chinese government, Hatoyama’s Chief Cabinet Secretary Hirohumi Hirano twice called, strongly demanded and finally coerced Shingo Haketa, the Grand Steward of the Imperial Household Agency to arrange the audience.
Mr. Haketa held an unconventional press conference, explained the background of the reckless act and ignoring the protocol and said, “I don’t want it to happen again!” It is now clear that the driving force behind Hatoyama’s actions in this matter came from Mr. Ozawa and his desire to have this “present” with him when he visited China with his entourage. They made a bad precedent utilizing the Emperor politically. Visiting China with many members of the Diet – which was rarely reported in China – and forcing the Imperial Household Agency to depart from the rule and grant the audience can be regarded as Ozawa grandstanding, only to show off his personal power. His attitude showing deference to China can be regarded as Japan’s foreign diplomacy bringing tribute which will lead China to get more and more pompous; so this action, does not fit Japan’s national interest, – at all!
I cannot help but being fearful about the Hatoyama regime’s actions such as straying on the Futenma issue, their approach to China, and their political exploitation of the Emperor. The root is in the DPJ’s dual structure where Hatoyama seems to have the power but actually Ozawa holds all the power. From him, I sense the smell of an autocrat such as Mao Tse-tung. While taking the Great Leap Forward, Mao distributed food for free to the Soviet Union and Eastern European countries – though they were richer than China – in order to be in a better position internationally through toadying to other communist nations. This caused tens of millions of death in China from starvation. First and foremost, a politician’s job is to build: a nation that one can be proud of, a nation where the citizens prosper, and to protect the country’s national interests. However, what Ozawa is doing right now is fawning upon China and displaying his power. When he was secretary-general of the LDP, he boasted, “It’s better to have a leader who is foolish and easy to control.”
Considering the current trend of Tanigaki’s weak LDP, the DPJ is highly likely to win the next election of the House of Councilors and obtain the majority of seats. But Ozawa may replace the Prime Minister by then. He will keep replacing Prime Ministers, one after another, without being one himself ? just like Deng Xiaoping who kept selecting the President of China ? and like Kakuei Tanaka, “the king maker,” who had enough power to choose the Prime Minister even after being a defendant in a criminal trial.
With everything going on in Japan, is Japan really OK? In President Obama’s speech given at the Nobel Peace Prize award ceremony, we could see his broader point of view and his own firm philosophy. Regrettably, we cannot see these in Prime Minister Hatoyama. It clearly showed they belong to a different class. Japan has to elect a decent government and prime minister as soon as possible, unite under the national strategy of independent and self-defense, and rebuild the nation. Otherwise, Japan will be in the Chinese sphere of influence sooner or later.
From Russia’s point of view, they see ? and perhaps be worried so much about ? Japan’s inferiority complex towards China, which may have prompted them (now 70 to 80 years later) to recently publicly announce that the Soviet Union’s intelligence agency conducted the Huanggutun incident which is considered to be “the cause” or “the start” of the Sino-Japanese War ? which may overturns the currently accepted “history” of the incident. Let’s use this “Russia card” (this new information) in combination with the “True Interpretation of Modern History” to reestablish Japan as a proud people and nation. NOW! It is the time for Japan to wake up and get going! Open your eyes to the world around you and the truth!