The Arrival of a New Imperialism

Seiji Fuji

America Has Given Up Its Seat as “the World's Policeman"

The May 10th issue of the Sankei Shimbun had a lineup of articles that symbolize the current international situation. First, on the top of the first page was the headline "Tension in South China Sea, America Eager to Put out Fire." It said:

Tensions between China and Vietnam, as well as the Philippines, are rising in the South China Sea over territorial disputes. In order to prevent intensification, the United States government is urging that each country exercise self-restraint. In his recent four-nation tour of Asia, President Obama had just reinforced a rebalancing strategy of shifting the center of security to the Asia-Pacific region. The United States government is keeping a close watch over the current movies of China, which is pushing against this, but as America also has the situation in Ukraine, in truth it hopes to quash any new triggers for conflict.

On the second page was the title "First Visit to Crimea after Annexation – Russian President: 'It Has Returned to the Fatherland.'" It said:

On the 9th, which corresponds to the anniversary of Russia's war triumph over Germany, Russian President Putin visited Sevastopol, located in the annexed Crimean Peninsula, in the south of Ukraine. Putin, who gave an address at a parade with a Black Sea armada, commented that the Crimean Peninsula had "returned to the fatherland." He stated that "The people of Crimea fought for their own dignity and freedom," emphasizing that the annexation was entirely the result of the population's strong desire.

It has been 69 years since the last World War, and 23 years since the end of the Cold War. After emerging victorious in the Cold War, as a way of establishing their unipolar system of world domination, America, the world's most powerful military nation, started the Gulf War in the Middle East, an area traditionally of European interest, when Iraq's Hussein invaded Kuwait. Afterward America invaded Afghanistan, which was sheltering bin Laden of Al-Qaeda, which had carried out the 9/11 terrorist attacks, and caused the collapse of the Taliban regime. After that, on the premise that Iraq was stocking weapons of mass destruction, America overcame opposition from France and other countries, started the Iraq War, assassinated Hussein, and occupied the country. However, America did not find weapons of mass destruction. Public opinion expressing war weariness toward America’s unjust war emerged, and the United States government had no choice but to withdraw. In recent times, President Obama, who pulled out of Iraq, has been especially strengthening America’s inward-facing inclinations. As opposed to conducting negotiations while flashing America’s military might like before, Obama is attempting to conclude everything with discussions.

The Middle East has gained ground, aiming for control over crude oil; however, domestic development of shale gas oil in America is advancing, and as the country has become able to get by without relying on other countries for energy, it has begun to pull out of the Middle East. The importance of sea lane defense has faded, and the relationship between America and Saudi Arabia is cooling down considerably. This also factors into America’s inclination to face inwardly. The stance that "the US is the world's policeman" has fallen silent, and the country has ceased to be involved in affairs that do not have directly influence on it.

In a Multi-Polarizing World, China and Russia Are Coming to the Forefront

In inverse proportion to the weakening and inward facing of America, countries such as China and Russia are coming to the forefront. After World War II, while the world came to respect people's self-determination, it built up a consensus that it would not acknowledge changes in territory due to military force. However, actions such as the annexation of the Crimean Peninsula by Russia, as well as China's open advancement into areas of the South China Sea that Vietnam and the Philippines assert are exclusive economic zones or subject to their territorial rights, make light of this consensus. In particular, China's advancement toward the South China Sea is in the same vein as their provocation toward Japan's Senkaku Islands in the East China Sea. In the past, China has dispatched volunteer troops to the Korean War; it started the Sino-Indian Border Conflict against India in 1962; after succeeding in nuclear testing, it had a military confrontation with the Soviet Union in 1969 in a dispute over Damansky Island; and it conducted the Sino-Vietnamese war against Vietnam in 1979. In such ways, China has fought wars with all of its surrounding countries. With regard to China's desire for territorial expansion, it established rule over the southern portion of Mongolia in 1947 as the Inner Mongolia Autonomous Region, annexed East Turkestan in 1949, dispatched troops to Tibet the next year, and occupied Lhasa in 1951. It has done all that in can do with the countries it borders on land. Now, China's true intention is likely to move onto the sea. That is why it has begun to extend its reach toward the Senkaku Islands in the East China Sea, and the Paracel Islands and the Spratly Islands in the South China Sea. For all of these, its aims are the resources at the bottom of the sea and the securement of an "exit" facing the Pacific Ocean. Along such lines, China is engaging in such activities as building gas drilling facilities near the center line between Japan and itself, and as recently became news, is strengthening its oil drilling in the South China Sea. Faced with this country, Vietnam immediately releases videos of Chinese ships when they ignore the Vietnam Coast Guard’s warnings to stop and resist by ramming or spraying water. This violent conflict between China and Vietnam in the South China Sea is not irrelevant to Japan―it is necessary to pay maximum attention to such trends. For Japan as well, the South China Sea is an indispensable sea lane for maritime transport, as well as a maritime traffic route through which commodities such as Middle Eastern oil pass.

Putin, who sensed danger when countries such as Poland and the three Baltic states were admitted into NATO, used the coup in Ukraine as an opportunity to make the Crimean Peninsula independent and to eventually annex it; next, he is beginning to extend his reach to Eastern Ukraine. Russia's ultimate objective is to cleave Ukraine into eastern and western halves, create a federation, and then make Eastern Ukraine a satellite nation of Russia. At this juncture, it likely wants to have Eastern Ukraine, which has plentiful resources and is an industrial area, under its jurisdiction. As justification, it claims that this is in line with the "will" of the citizens with Russian heritage, which account for a high proportion of the population. However, the population composition of Ukraine became this way because, as a means of acquiring foreign capital in order to drive industrialization, Stalin forced the exportation of Ukrainian crops in 1932, despite a bad harvest. A famine occurred as a result, causing 6 to 7 million Ukrainians to die of starvation. In order to address the population deficit, the Soviet Union had a great number of Russians immigrate to Ukraine. In other words, the number of Ukrainian citizens with Russian heritage increased because of a famine that was artificially brought about by the Soviet Union. This historical fact cannot be forgotten.

A Thorough Structural Reform is Necessary for the United Nations, Which Has Become Inadequate

With the actions of Russia and China, the inadequacy of the United Nations has once again become clear. The current United Nations is an alliance of nations that were victorious in the last World War, and the five victorious nations of America, Russia, China, the United Kingdom, and France are aligned as standing member-nations of the UN Security Council, the nucleus of the organization. The standing member-nations of the Security Council are able to invoke the right of veto for resolutions. In other words, the United Nations is unable to do anything regarding the violence of countries such as Russia and China, as these nations are standing member-nations. The United Nations takes the form of the last World War’s victorious nations "guiding" the losing nations, and although 69 years have passed since the war, the United Nations has yet to abolish the enemy nation clauses in the UN Charter. Japan should make a joint demand with the other nations specified in the enemy nation clauses (Germany, Italy, Bulgaria, Hungary, Romania, and Finland) that the United Nations change to a form in which it can be fair and truly contribute to world peace, and if this demand is not recognized, it should cease payments of United Nations assessments until it is recognized. Further, countries centered on the nations specified in the enemy nation clauses, together with the countries of Asia, Africa, the Near and Middle East, and Central and South America that have been subject to colonial rule in the past, should jointly establish an international organization to resolve international problems. In addition, it is necessary for these countries to cooperate in forming alliances in order to retain the balance of power in each region, and to create a system of security in order to preserve peace.

Before the last World War, sensing the threat of policies by the Soviet Union's Stalin to Sovietize the world, the major Western powers and Japan cooperated and joined hands. From the West, the major Western powers defended against Soviet invasion, and in the East, Japan held back the penetration of communism by turning Manchuria into a prolific nation. Facing Russia's annexation of the Crimean Peninsula on this occasion as well, the tremendously powerful America up until this point would most likely have taken the appropriate measures. As it is no longer able to do so, the member-nations of Europe's NATO, centered on Germany and France, should do so in its place. In place of the United Nations, a new international organization should be given authorization for such actions to preserve the balance in each region.

Not only have the victorious nations from the last World War led the United nations to this point, they have also monopolized nuclear weapons. Following America, which dropped the atomic bombs on Japan in 1945, each nation has succeeded in nuclear testing: the Soviet Union in 1949, the United Kingdom in 1952, France in 1960, and China in 1964. At this point, the standing member-nations drew up the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons, a system of monopolizing such weapons. They have gotten other nations to participate in the treaty and shut these nations out from developing nuclear weapons. However, even after that, nuclear weapons have continued to spread: in opposition to China, India developed nuclear weapons in 1974; in opposition to that, Pakistan developed them in 1998; and sensing danger at the nuclear development of this Islamic nation, Israel developed nuclear weapons as well. Currently, nations such as Iran and Saudi Arabia are attempting to conduct nuclear weapon development in opposition to Israel. In addition, in East Asia as well, North Korea forced its nuclear testing in 2006. With Russia, China, North Korea, and America, it is no exaggeration to say that Japan is surrounded by nuclear powers. In Japan, the mistaken understanding that since the war, Article 9 of the Constitution has preserved peace has become widespread. In reality, Japan had simply had not been caught up in a war because the powerful America had made Japan into a semi-colony with the Security Treaty between the United States and Japan. Now, as that protector, America, continues to lose its strength, in order to oppose expanding nations such as China and Russia, a balance of power in East Asia is essential. One can say that the current era of multi-polarization is the arrival of a new imperialism.

Military force is in the backdrop of diplomatic negotiations, and preserving a balance of power is the only peacekeeping policy. The significance of military power as an area balancer will likely become even more important in the future.

The possession of nuclear arms by Japan is indispensable in order to achieve a balance of power in East Asia, but if Japan were to suddenly come into possession of its own nuclear weapons, America would certainly voice strong opposition. For such reasons, Japan would be confronted with a number of barriers. What I have been asserting from before is that a nuclear weapon sharing system should be created. Even now, America provides such a nuclear sharing system to four member-countries of NATO (Belgium, Germany, Italy, and the Netherlands) in Europe. This is essentially the concept of nuclear weapon rental, in which, for instance, in peace times, nuclear submarines loaded with nuclear weapons would be jointly held and operated by Japan and America. In times of emergency, the right to command would be entrusted to the Japanese side, and the right to use nuclear weapons would also be granted. There is a good chance that even America, which most firmly opposes the acquisition of nuclear weapons by Japan, would approve of this formulation, as it would restrain Japan from arming itself with independent nuclear weapons. The possession of nuclear weapons by Japan would lead to stability and peace in East Asia.

In the preamble of the current Constitution, which serves the purpose of allowing America to boast a monopoly on nuclear weapons and absolute military power, disarm Japan, and perpetually keep it in colonial status, it states "we desire peace for all time and are deeply conscious of the high ideals controlling human relationship and we have determined to preserve our security and existence, trusting in the justice and faith of the peace-loving peoples of the world." However, we are no longer in such an era.

Amendment of the Constitution is absolutely essential, but even if a 2/3 vote from members of the Diet in both houses of Parliament is secured, a majority vote in a national referendum would still be difficult to obtain. Both of these steps are currently required in order to revise the Constitution. The difficulty of obtaining a majority vote in a referendum arises from the fact that due to the media, which is still bound by the 30-item press code enforced by General Headquarters (the office of the Supreme Commander of the Allied Powers) after the war, as well as masochistic education, many Japanese people are not looking directly at the current situation. They have fallen into a type of pacifism almost like Buddhist prayer (where they believe that chanting about peace will make it happen), have established a whole 7,000 organizations around the country with names such as "Article 9 Association," and will attempt to prevent constitutional reform in a national referendum.

The Liberal Democratic Party Should Do away with the Alliance with the New Komeito and Gather Conservatives

After the collapse of the America's unipolar world rule, the basis of international order will depend on the fundamental units of nations to defend themselves. If America is to give up its seat as the world's policeman, it should place trust in Japan, its ally through the Security Treaty between the United States and Japan, recognize Japan’s possession of nuclear weapons, and allow it to take on the role of balancer in East Asia. Despite this, however, far from placing trust in Japan, America is not supporting Japan against China and Korea, who are using fabricated historical issues such as the Nanking Massacre and the comfort women issue as though they are current topics in order to bash Japan, despite the fact that America knows these claims to be false. In the background of this issue is the basic political stance of America's Democratic Party, which has traditionally cooperated with China. Roosevelt drove Japan into a corner, made them shoot, and dragged them into a war against America and the United Kingdom in order to take part in a European war. For the purpose of a world hegemony following World War II, Truman dragged on the war against Japan, who wished to end it, until America's nuclear testing had succeeded. He completed the atomic bombs and dropped them without warning to keep the Soviet Union in check. Obama expressed that he was "disappointed" about Yasukuni Shrine, and will not defend Japan, America’s ally. As demonstrated by such cases, Democratic Party administrations traditionally take an anti-Japan, pro-China stance. The next presidential election in America is in 2016. The chances are high that the Democratic Party candidate will be Hillary Clinton, and that she will compete against likely Republican Candidate Jeb Bush, the younger brother of former President George W. Bush. During his first administration, Prime Minister Abe set forth the idea of "freeing Japan from the postwar regime." These words were shunned by America, and Abe had no choice but to step down from his position. However, this is the spirit that is most necessary for Japan right now. The future will be significantly influenced by whether the Republican Party is able to reclaim political power in the election two years from now.

Korea, which has the geopolitically unstable position of being a peninsula, has continually received strong influence from its surrounding countries. Trying to flatter the Qing Dynasty of China, it caused the First Sino-Japanese War. It drew close to Russia and became a large factor for the Russo-Japanese War. Despite the fact that it flourished through its annexation with Japan, in the Korea War, it fought a disastrous war by proxy after the last World War. Following a cease-fire agreement, it was manipulated by America and mobilized for the Vietnam War. After that, despite the fact that it received help from Japan (which had achieved economic revitalization) and prospered once again, now that China has gained power, again it is reciting falsehoods about 200,000 sex slaves (comfort women) being transported for forced labor and continues to point fingers at Japan, causing a sharp drop in both investments and tourists from Japan. Further, just recently, the nation has rapidly lost credit amidst such aspects as the sinking of the passenger and cargo ship "MV Sewol," and will likely sidle up to Japan once more to request aid. As Japan is bound by the press code that America pushed on it following the war and has been unable to criticize Korea or China, it has not been able to refute the unreasonable assertions leveled by nations such as these. Left in this state, there is a possibility that the entire Korean Peninsula will fall under the influence of China. North Korea has forced its nuclear development, and it has somehow been able to resist the power of China by conducting three nuclear tests. However, in the future, if the Korean Peninsula becomes the "Crimean Peninsula" of Asia and Korea is transformed into "Eastern Ukraine," it will be a dagger thrust into Japan, which will likely be put under the influence of China without choice, becoming "China's Autonomous Region of Japan."

The Abe administration, which is maintaining high approval ratings, should first securely pave the way toward constitutional reform and a national construction that is capable of independent self-defense. The first step toward that is doing away with the alliance with the New Komeito, which will not recognize making use of the right to collective defense by means of altering the interpretation of the Constitution; creating a conservative party that can be brought together with genuinely conservative philosophies and goes ahead of the Liberal Democratic Party; and then aiming for cooperation with that party. There is not much time remaining until Japan is swallowed up by the expanding China. Despite the fact that it has weakened militarily, there is no mistaking that America, which is still the world's supreme country, possesses the dollar―the world's reserve currency―and is the supreme ruler of the Internet, possessing the world's highest standard of IT technology. Even if it commits to the Monroe Doctrine, America, which is capable of self-defense, will have continued prosperity.

In order to aim for the preservation of influence in East Asia, America should recognize the constitutional revision of Japan (with which it has entered into the Security Treaty between the United States and Japan), recognize Japan's retention of forces for independent self-defense, jointly confront China and Russia, and contribute to the peace of this area. Just as Colonel Akashi aimed to caused disturbances in order to set the stage for the Russian Revolution at the time of the Russo-Japanese War, Japan should create a Ministry of Information, enter into the information warfare that is being conducted throughout the world, and have the spirit to formulate a plan for the Republican Party to emerge victorious in America's next presidential election. The Abe administration still has a multitude of tasks that it must fulfill from now, and it must aim to be a long-term administration. I would like to actively provide support as well.

Saturday, May 24, 2014; Proofreading completed at 1:00