The Shinzo Abe Administration Must Become a Long-term Government for Peace in Asia

Seiji Fuji

Xi Jinping has built a political foundation by focusing on the fight against corruption

The June 13 edition of the Nihon Keizai Shimbun newspaper contained an article entitled, “President Xi Jinping Completes the First Stage of Solidifying his Foundation.” It read:

Xi Jinping, leader of the Chinese Communist Party, handed down the severe punishment of life in prison to Zhou Yongkang, who has previously served as a senior leader in the party, on June 11. This was a critical juncture in Xi Jinping’s efforts to solidify his political foundation under the pretext of fighting corruption. Next, he is focusing on the national congress to be held in 2017, when the top leadership will be drastically switched around. To carry out personnel affairs according to his will, Xi Jinping is continually keeping his eyes on the senior party members and army as part of his anti-corruption movement.
Xi Jinping is carrying out extensive reforms and battles against corruption.
At a management meeting on June 12, China Petrochemical Corporation (a nationally owned, major oil corporation that is part of the Sinopec Group), where Zhou Yongkang previously had influence, pledged its allegiance to Xi Jinping. Similar meetings were held by government institutions, and at present there is no visible disturbance within the party.
The judicial decision released on June 11 revealed that the first trial for Zhou Yongkang was held in private on May 22.
At the Great Hall of the People in Beijing on the night of June 23, Xi Jinping indicated his desire to improve the Japan-China relationship to Liberal Democratic Party (LDP) General Council Chairman Toshihiro Nikai and other people visiting China. At that time, Xi Jinping had already settled the Zhou Yongkang issue and was not afraid of criticism from within the party. He was constructing a structure for having a proactive stance regarding the Japan-China relationship.
As far as can be seen, at present there are no influential people within the party that pose threats to Xi Jinping.

Unlike Jiang Zemin (who was the Shanghai Party secretary and was chosen as president with the endorsement of Deng Xiaoping) or Hu Jintao (Jiang Zemin’s successor who was also appointed according to the will of Deng Xiaoping), Xi Jinping – who became the president in March 2013 – began fighting against corruption with the aim of establishing a political foundation that was stronger than previous presidents. Bribery has been part of the Chinese culture since ancient times. The central party leaders and rural officials amass wealth via bribes, send their children to study overseas, and transfer their assets overseas, by which they are making preparations to escape from China at any time. In response to this, Xi Jinping began his efforts to eradicate corruption with an unsparing attitude that says he will not overlook any corruption, from the most important persons to lower-grade bureaucrats. His targets are the Jiang Zemin and Hu Jintao factions; he is not touching the members of his own faction including the Princelings.
On the same day, June 13, the Sankei Shimbun newspaper reported:

Xi Jinping’s anti-corruption movement has exposed a series of politicians from the factions led by former President Jiang Zemin and former President Hu Jintao. Meanwhile, the people involved in the Princelings – which Xi Jinping supports – have been mostly retained. Some say this eradication of corruption is a pretext – a political purge for the Xi Jinping faction to seize political power.

Some people also believe that future targets of this fight against corruption will include important politicians such as former Premier Li Peng of the Jiang Zemin faction and former Premier Wen Jiabao of the Hu Jintao faction.

Xi Jinping has gained control of the People’s Liberation Army by purging the former top uniformed personnel

Xu Caihou and Guo Boxiong, who were top uniformed personnel in the People’s Liberation Army (PLA), are also being investigated and have lost standing for accepting bribes. Perhaps this is a way for Xi Jinping to gain power over the military authorities, and it is certainly true that he needs to do so.
The December 2014 issue of Apple Town, this monthly magazine, included my essay that was entitled, “Japan Should Have a Panoramic View of the Chaotic World and Use it as an Opportunity for Restoration.” Underneath the heading “The Xi Jinping structure does not have full control of the army, which is very dangerous,” I wrote:

The biggest cause of this chaos is that the system of unipolar government by the United States is breaking down. In a televised speech in September 2013, President Barack Obama declared the U.S. is no longer the policeman of the world, which led to confusion across the globe. The most striking adverse effect was the economic sanctions placed on Russia by Europe and the U.S. Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych – a member of the pro-Russia faction who was chosen via an election – was ousted by a demonstration commenced by the Western Ukraine side. This led to the crisis in Ukraine, and Russia took this opportunity to conduct an armed invasion and annex the Crimean Peninsula.
In addition, the expanded shale gas and oil development in the U.S. has decreased the American dependence on the Middle East for oil and also resulted in depreciated crude oil prices. In an attempt to make Japan shoulder this debt, information strategy warfare is being used to incite anxiety as a way to prevent the re-start of nuclear power plants in Japan, where a nuclear accident took place at the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Station.
According to an article in The Yomiuri Shimbun, Russia has a warped economic system in which roughly 70% of exports depend on crude oil and natural gas (50% of the federal budget). The economy is stagnating due to the direct impacts of low crude oil prices, and the ruble has cheapened. It has also become more difficult for the Russian people to live because of steeply increasing grocery prices caused by the resulting inflation. The world is closely connected today, so various circumstances end up causing mutual impacts.
If one attempts to maintain political power amidst disappointing economic conditions, the usual measure is an unyielding diplomatic offensive against a party that cannot make a counterattack. It seemed like China was up to its old tricks, but this exposed the fact that the influential people in China are losing their grasp on power, which is even scarier. The Nihon Keizai Shimbun’s Weather Vane column on October 12 read as follows:
According to the local news, a few days before Xi Jinping visited China on September 17, the Chinese Army suddenly began transgressing across the border with India. This took place in the Ladakh region where a national border was not demarcated after the international border dispute.
At most, more than 1,000 soldiers crossed the border. When Xi Jinping arrived in India, he called for friendship and cooperation, but at the same time these soldiers were in India
Some observers feel that Xi Jinping allowed this border crossing as a way to place checks on India. However, a plausible theory is that the soldiers were moved without Xi Jinping’s knowledge. Many of the Japanese and American authorities in charge of security guarantees tend to believe the latter
Xi Jinping went to India to advocate for Sino-Indian friendship and restrain Japan. This has come to nothing due to the clamor regarding the border transgression, and Xi Jinping has lost face.
Chinese military planes have been engaged in near misses with Japan Self-Defense Force (JSDF) aircraft twice this year, and with American military aircraft several times.
Some reports said this was provocation by China, but the American and Japanese authorities say these near misses took place according to the judgment of the pilots or local headquarters.
These circumstances show that President Xi Jinping is not fully in control of the army, and that military conflict could occur. This is extremely frightening.

I think Xi Jinping may have finally seized power over the army through his political purge of top figures.

China and South Korea are facing crises due to accidents and worsening economic circumstances

Toshio Tamogami was chief of staff of Japan’s Air Self-Defense Force in 2008, when he won the Grand Prize in the first annual “True Interpretations of Modern History” essay contest for his essay that insisted Japan is a good country. For this, he was dismissed by then-Prime Minister Taro Aso. Partially because of this, the LDP was defeated in the August 2009 general election and Yukio Hatoyama of the Democratic Party of Japan (DPJ) became the prime minister.
China and South Korea treated the DPJ administration with contempt and strengthened their offensive against Japan from that time. China continually worked to provoke Japan. For example, the territorial dispute at the Senkaku Islands intensified, a Chinese fishing boat rammed a Japan Coast Guard patrol boat, Hong Kong activists landed on Uotori Island, and official Chinese ships constantly intruded into Japan’s territorial waters.
Then-South Korean President Lee Myung-bak became afraid when his older brother, a member of the National Assembly, was arrested for corruption. Lee Myung-bak worried that he would be arrested after the end of his term like past presidents. To avoid this, he suddenly began displaying an anti-Japanese attitude; he became the first president to land on Takeshima and stated that the Emperor of Japan should kneel and apologize if he wanted to visit South Korea.
Regime changes took place in Japan, China, and South Korea within the span of a few months. The LDP recovered political power in December 2012, and Shinzo Abe – a member of the conservative faction – became the prime minister. South Korean President Park Geun-hye took up her post in February 2013, followed by Xi Jinping becoming president in March. Perhaps Park Geun-hye saw how Lee Myung-bak, her predecessor, evaded arrest after stepping down by shifting to an anti-Japanese stance. In addition, she may have been anxious about the fact that her father, former President Park Chung-hee, was a pro-Japanese man who was a commissioned officer in the Manchukuo Imperial Army and studied abroad at the Imperial Japanese Army Academy. As a result, she has displayed a clearly anti-Japanese stance from the beginning and began “tattling” on Japan across the world for the comfort women issue. But Abe has not been daunted by this pressure; he has implemented a detour strategy of not confronting China and South Korea directly while working to strengthen cooperation with the United States. He has also carried out diplomacy with an overhead view of the world while advocating for “proactive pacifism.” In this way, Abe has strengthened friendly relations with the Asian countries surrounding China and South Korea. These two countries put pressure on Abe to step down by refusing to hold top-level meetings with Japan, but Abe merely responded in a flexible way by saying the door is always open. I think he should be highly evaluated for this reason.
Aiming to expand its marine interests, China determined targets from the East China Sea (where the Senkaku Islands are located) to the South China Sea. In the South China Sea it has reclaimed reefs at the Spratly Islands and is attempting to build airstrips and batteries there. Chinese Deputy PLA Chief of Staff Sun Jianguo has clearly confirmed that this reclamation is for military purposes. The bubble has collapsed and the economy is clearly stagnating, and Xi Jinping has continually fought against corruption as a way to hold political power. It is true that Xi Jinping’s political foundation was stabilized for the time being by removing the former top uniformed military personnel and severely punishing Zhou Yongkang (who has served as a senior leader). Xi Jinping held top-level meetings with Japan in November 2014 and April 2015, thinking that Japan is necessary for economic recovery and working to reduce the distance between the two countries. Abe – believing that economic turnaround in Japan should start by ridding the country of deflation – implemented ultraeasy monetary policy. Looking at the yen to dollar exchange rate, the yen has decreased in value to two thirds compared to when Abe became the LDP president, and stocks have risen by 2.5 times. As a result, the Japanese economy centered on the export industry is increasing in vigor, and more and more foreign tourists are coming to visit. In contrast, South Korea is suffering from the high value of the won, its exports are mediocre, and the number of tourists is continually decreasing. Moreover, the tourism industry is being decisively damaged by the spread of MERS.
South Korea has a long tradition of neglecting safety Last year the MV Sewol sunk in April. After that a ventilation grate collapsed during an outdoor concert and a gymnasium was destroyed by the weight of snow. More than 10 people died in each of these incidents. In June a passenger boat on the Yangtze River capsized in China, killing more than 400 people. People say this was caused by a tornado, but some believe that excessive remodeling caused the ship to become unbalanced just like the MV Sewol. China and South Korea are falsely accusing Japan about territorial issues (the Nanking Massacre and comfort women) and territorial issues (the Senkaku Islands and Takeshima). However, both of these countries are facing crises due to accidents and worsening economic circumstances. Xi Jinping is pinning his hopes for economic recovery on Japan, based on his stable political foundation, and Park Geun-hye has suddenly made concessions due to the 50th anniversary of the signing of the Treaty on Basic Relations between Japan and the Republic of Korea, setting forth a policy of cooperating to have The Modern Industrial Heritage Sites in Kyushu and Yamaguchi designated as Cultural World Heritage. It is thought that Park Geun-hye abandoned her principles and abruptly changed to a new policy because she thought she would have to abandon her post as president midway through her term of office due to illness, and because if things continued in this way the economic state of South Korea will become hopeless.

“Kimigayo” is a dignified national anthem, compared to the many national anthems across the world that reek of blood

Information strategy warfare is constantly being carried out across the world, both today and in the past. Japanese people, who have been raised on mistaken media reports and education, do not attempt to recognize this fact. A member of the Shoheijuku school brought materials to school with translated versions of national anthems. The following are the national anthems from six countries.

Our disciplined soldiers
Destroy all of the attacking enemies
Guard us unflinchingly
Bring glory to our precious country, our fatherland
Glorious citizens, that honor tied to our free fatherland
Guide us underneath our flag
Move forward for victory
(Soviet Union)
Arise, do not become slaves
Let us build a great country with our blood and flesh
Arise, arise, arise!
With the same spirit, let us take on our enemies
Move forward and take on our enemies
Move forward, move forward, move forward, move forward!
(People’s Republic of China)
Go, citizens of our fatherland
Now is the time
We are righteous
Our flag flutters in the wind
Can you not hear the enemies crying like demons in the fields and mountains?
The enemies are bloodthirsty
Arise, citizens
Pick up your spears
Move forward, move forward
Let us destroy our enemies
God, our God
Please destroy our enemies and make them surrender
Please destroy vicious policies and evil tricks
God, you are our hope
Please protect the people
Oh, can you see the star-spangled banner illuminated by the dawn light after a fierce battle?
Our flag flutters in the breeze after the shells were thrown all night
Our free fatherland, brave homes
Fly the star-spangled banner
As the battle has ended and a gentle breeze blows
What is partially visible in the thick fog?
It is our star-spangled banner!
God, let the star-spangled banner continue to fly
Over our free fatherland and brave homes
May your reign continue
For 1,000 or 8,000 generations
Until pebbles become rocks covered with moss

Other than “Kimigayo,” all of the the national anthems seem to be rousing war songs that reek of blood. They are fervent, militant songs that talk about blood, flesh, fighting with enemies, and bloodthirsty enemies. Based on these national policies, citizens are made to swear their allegiance to the nation each day from elementary school, so perhaps it is inevitable that war is unending.
In contrast, one can clearly see that “Kimigayo,” the national Japanese anthem, has lyrics that are somehow peaceful, serene, eternal, and dignified. These lyrics are based on a poem written by an anonymous poet in the Collection of Japanese Poems of Ancient and Modern Times, the oldest poetry anthology in Japan from around 1,000 years ago that was compiled by Ki no Tsurayuki according to an order from Emperor Daigo. This festive poem has been beloved by many people as a prayer for longevity; it was not forced on them from above. Moreover, it was composed by an anonymous poet, so it is by a nameless person.
The word “kimi” is a respectful, affectionate term that refers to another person. New Year’s poetry readings were held at the Imperial Palace during ancient times and still take place today. Poems are solicited from people of all ages, sexes, and social statuses, and the winners are invited to the Imperial Palace. I don’t think there is another Imperial household or royal family across the world that is as close to the common people. In this way, the Japanese anthem is one that we should feel proud of, and we must be grateful for the wisdom of our ancestors.
Some people say the word “kimi” refers to the Emperor. However, the correct word for the Emperor is “okimi,” and a person of that era would never have lightly referred to the Emperor merely as “kimi.” Some people say that “Kimigayo” is a love song. I think it is a serene, harmonious song and hope we will cherish this peaceful, kind anthem that is unique across the world.
Looking at the governments of other countries, it is only natural to have long-term administrations of 10 or more years. We must not have short-term governments of one or two years in Japan, which has continually happened in the past. I hope the Abe administration will aim to last for 10 or more years, reorganize Japan, and revive Japan as a country that is worthy of pride. It would be ideal for Abe to declare the opening of the Olympics in Tokyo – which he helped successfully bid for – at the opening ceremony together with “Kimigayo.” So that sufficient responses can also be made to China and South Korea, I will provide support to the maximum degree so the Abe administration becomes a long-term government.