Trump’s Presidency is an Opportunity for Japan to be a Truly Independent Nation

Seiji Fuji

The American presidential election is a showdown between Trump and Clinton

 The Olympics, an event held once every four years, will take place this year. It looks doubtful that these Olympics in Rio de Janeiro will go off smoothly due to delayed venue construction work, the impeachment of President Dilma Rousseff, and other factors.
 A presidential election, which takes place every four years, will also be held in the United States this year and promises to be a real melee. In a totally unexpected result, it is almost certain that the Republican candidate will be Donald Trump, although he was treated as a fringe candidate. Trump has been married three times, declared bankruptcy four times, and considered running for president three times. He determined that he would not win the presidential primaries just by asserting for respectable policies like the main Republican faction, so instead he is implementing a strategy of drawing attention by talking about extreme political measures. He has gained many fans by declaring things that certainly have not been voiced by past presidents, presidential candidates, or the Washington Establishment, for instance building a wall between the U.S. and Mexico and making Mexico pay for it; prohibiting Muslims from entering the U.S.; and making the countries the U.S. defends pay all expenses for stationing the U.S. Forces in Japan, South Korea, and Germany. In this way, he has been victorious in the primaries in states throughout the U.S., with a momentum that drastically exceeds the preliminary forecasts by experts. It is always the case that affluent people are a minority and poor people are the majority. There are few elite figures and many non-elites. After all, if there were many of these people they would not be referred to as “rich” or “elite.” Members of minority and majority groups all have one vote in democratic systems. Trump aimed to capture the hearts of the poor and non-elites and has been victorious in the primaries by purposefully asserting for policy that appeals to what people really think, even though it is not politically correct, and saying what regular politicians cannot voice in the modern era.
 It is mostly settled that Hillary Clinton will be the Democratic candidate to run against Trump. The only upset in the Democratic Party would be if Clinton receives a fatal wound for some reason, such as criminal charges for the e-mail scandal (news reports say the FBI is in the final stage of investigating this issue). Clinton is winning in the public opinion polls at present. For Trump to be victorious, he will have to prevail in debates in a respectable way by insisting on feasible, sound arguments in line with the national interests of the U.S., unlike his past attitude. To that end, his selection of a running mate and policy advisors will be exceedingly important.

Trump doesn’t understand the true role of the Japan-U.S. Security Treaty

 Trump sees the unilateral nature of the Japan-U.S. Security Treaty as a problem, but he does not understand the true significance of this treaty that was determined as a set with the Constitution of Japan.
 The background to the constitution includes the curse of the atomic bombs and the excessive strength of Japan during World War II. The U.S. provided massive amounts of military assistance to the Soviet Union in the last stage of World War II to help it defeat Nazi Germany, turning the Soviet Union into a military monster. The U.S. thought if things continued in that way the Soviet Union would embark on the communization of the world – including bordering countries in Europe and all of Asia – leading to the outbreak of World War III with more than 10 million victims. That is why it had to somehow use the atomic bombs, developed with secret Congressional funds, during the war as a way to intimidate the Soviet Union. Accordingly, it bought time until the atomic bombs were completed before finally bombing Japan. American Secretary of State James F. Byrnes knew that Japan wanted to surrender, for which its only condition was maintenance of the national polity. He purposefully drew out the war by having this condition removed from the Potsdam Declaration, thereby ensuring enough time to finish the atomic bomb development. The U.S. also carried out the Great Tokyo Air Raid – even creating a test site with wooden houses to run repeated simulations – to show that atomic bombs were not the only inhumane weapons. Fire bombs were dropped to cut off escape routes and the interior was carpet bombed, killing 100,000 people in one night through conventional weapons alone. The U.S. had control of the seas and air, so there was little value for it to occupy Iwo Jima, where 20,000 Japanese soldiers had dug underground encampments and were making a last stand. Despite this, it took the decisive action of having the Marine Corps land on the island, where 28,686 soldiers were killed or wounded in action – the only World War II battle in which the American victims outnumbered Japanese ones. It is thought that the Battle of Iwo Jima was waged to substantiate the claim that one million American soldiers would be killed or wounded in action in a decisive battle on the Japanese mainland. Even now, many Americans believe the U.S. had no choice but to drop the atomic bombs to save one million American soldiers.
 The Soviet Tank Corps, comprised of thousands of tanks, forced Berlin to surrender and was preparing an advance throughout all of Europe. Actually using the atomic bombs was the only available offset strategy to destroy this charge at one fell swoop. The bombs changed the inevitable World War III from a fierce fight into the Cold War. Forty-five years later, technological revolution was the biggest factor for the Soviet Union’s defeat in the Cold War. As videos came into popular use, the Soviet people learned about the affluent lifestyles of the Western countries. In addition, the Soviet Union could not procure the massive amounts of military funds required for the arms race to respond to American President Ronald Reagan’s “Star Wars” initiative. The Soviet Union collapsed when it could not technically or economically withstand the rapid development of technologies like computers and the Internet.
 Meanwhile, Japan profited while others fought in Cold War-era conflicts like the Korean War and Vietnam War. It became the number-two economic power that conquered the world with its consumer technologies including electrical appliances, automobiles, and IT products. This was propped up by the Constitution of Japan – called a “pacifist constitution” – and Japan-U.S. Security Treaty created as a set for Japan by the U.S. Japan was able to become an major economic player because it did not have to enlarge its defense costs since it had the military protection of the U.S. The U.S. Forces in Japan have served as a keystone in protecting peace in East Asia and exercising its authority over China and Russia, and also as a yoke to ensure Japan won’t become a major military power ever again. Partially due to requests from the defense industry, the U.S. has expended vast amounts of time and human life to fight in conflicts like the Korean War, Vietnam War, and Gulf War, by which it has maintained global hegemony, particularly in the Pacific Ocean. Therefore, it is unlikely that the U.S. will withdraw from the Pacific Ocean. Trump lacks understanding of this arrangement.
 To justify dropping the atomic bombs, during its postwar occupation of Japan the U.S. instilled the Japanese people with the thinking that the U.S. was a good country and Japan was a bad one. Japanese people have been imbued with a masochistic view of history through the Tokyo Trials and history textbooks produced with guidance from the Japan Teachers’ Union, which was created by the Supreme Commander for the Allied Powers (GHQ). The media was bound by the 31-item Press Code determined by the GHQ, and has continually released news reports according to this self-tormenting historical view. Falsified history has been spread, including the impossible Nanking Massacre story. A survey during the occupation said the population of Nanking was 200,000 people, yet China claims that 300,000 people were slaughtered and then the population increased to 250,000 people one month later. Another example is the claim that 200,000 comfort women were forced into military prostitution, although not one record or article remains to substantiate this. Japan was not an aggressor nation; it worked to free the people of Asia from aggression and colonial rule by the major Western powers. The GHQ ousted 200,000 Japanese public officials – intellectuals who had a correct understanding of history – and burned 7,769 books containing correct ways of thinking about Japan and history as a way to brainwash the Japanese people. Even now, Japan suffers from this masochistic view of history that was implanted by the U.S.

A double election should be held for constitutional reform

 During the 70 years since the end of the war, the U.S. has treated Japan as a dependent nation rather than an independent one. The Japan Self-Defense Forces (JSDF) are bound by the Constitution of Japan and Japan-U.S. Security Treaty, so they possess no offensive weapons that can be used against other countries and are nothing more than a colonial army. Trump emphasizes that the U.S.-Japan Security Treaty is unilateral and wants to make Japan pay all of the fees for stationing the U.S. Forces in Japan or they will be withdrawn. He also says Japan should be allowed to possess nuclear arms. His presidency would be a major opportunity for Japan to defend itself and move towards becoming a truly independent nation. The first step to that end is of course reforming the constitution.
 The Constitution of Japan is rigid and there are major obstacles to its amendment. However, thankfully the Shinzo Abe administration has a high approval rating. Some people feel that a double election for the House of Representatives and House of Councillors on the same day is less likely due to the Kumamoto Earthquake, but I don’t agree. Abe planned to halt the increase of the consumption tax to 10%, which was planned for April of next year, in the case of a natural disaster on the scale of the Great East Japan Earthquake or an economic fluctuation of the same level as the bankruptcy of Lehman Brothers. This state of affairs, with the Kumamoto Earthquake and progressively strong yen and low stock prices, meets those conditions. I think he should embark on a double election by deciding to freeze the consumption tax increase and appealing to the confidence of the citizens. Perhaps the number of House of Representatives members in favor of constitutional change would decrease somewhat, but the necessary two thirds could still be ensured. It is highly probable that two thirds in the House of Councillors, which is not sufficient now, could be achieved through a double election. If two thirds of the seats in both houses were filled by people in favor of constitutional change, a proposal could be made to amend the constitution. Afterwards, it would be necessary for a majority of the citizens age 18 and older to vote in favor of amendment. It may be necessary to suddenly propose the direct amendment of Article 9 or Article 96, but it would be very difficult to make a second proposal regarding constitutional change motions that were rejected in a national referendum. I think we should reform the constitution starting with amendments that many people would agree with, such as fixing the issues that clearly aren’t in line with the modern era like the Preamble and state of emergency clause. We should show that the Constitution of Japan is not a permanent law and create a path toward future revisions.
 After improving the public opinion in this way, we must change Article 9 to allow Japan to have a powerful military with its own offensive abilities. People should have strong spirit stating that an independent state protects itself, and we must possess an army that is suited to that task. If Trump became president and asked Japan to pay the entire amount for stationing the U.S. Forces, Japan should tell the U.S. to leave and use the American military bases for the JSDF. Thinking in a businesslike way, Trump would probably have no choice but to meet Japan’s conditions if it stopped the so-called “Omoiyari Yosan” in exchange for paying for all stationing expenses, and asked for land rent for all American bases on state- and prefecture-owned land.
Since Commodore Matthew C. Perry arrived in Japan in 1853, gaining control of the Pacific Ocean has been the dearest wish of the U.S.; it would certainly not withdraw all of the U.S. Forces. Perry’s major intention in coming to Uraga was to gain hegemony of the Pacific Ocean. He forced the Edo Shogunate to open the country to the world with the might of his guns. The proof is that the American flag from the USS Susquehanna – the ship Perry traveled on – was displayed at the signing ceremony for the Instrument of Surrender on the USS Missouri after World War II.
 The U.S. expanded westward from the 13 eastern states according to the concept of Manifest Destiny, slaughtering and destroying the Native Americans as if it were moving through a barren wilderness. After it arrived at the West Coast, it blew up its own USS Maine, making it look like the work of Spain. It inflamed the public opinion according to the slogan “Remember the Maine” to start the Spanish-American War as a way to move into the Pacific Ocean. In this way, it captured territories like Cuba, Puerto Rico, Guam, and the Philippines. The U.S. also purposefully angered Japan and drove it into war – this time using the slogan “Remember Pearl Harbor” – to fulfill its dearly held wish of gaining hegemony in the Pacific Ocean. This is another thing that Trump doesn’t understand.

Trump’s victory will be determined by which running mate he chooses

 Japan sets its defense costs as 1% of its GDP, amounting to roughly five trillion yen. In contrast, the U.S. has declared that it will cut defense spending by five trillion yen per year until 2021. It is inevitable that the U.S. Forces in Japan will someday be reduced and withdrawn. Revising the Japanese constitution to fill the vacuum of power that will be produced is indispensible to maintaining peace and stability in East Asia. If we can achieve the goal of a society with dynamic engagement and a GDP of 600 trillion yen, six trillion yen (1% of the GDP) could be set aside for defense costs. Offensive abilities are the best type of deterrence; even with the same amount of defense costs, we could obtain significant deterrence by increasing our budget for offensive weapons rather than defensive ones. The JSDF has a missile defense system, including Aegis ships, to defend the country, but Japan would be unable to fully protect itself if another country attacked Japan according to a saturation strategy with more missiles that it can intercept. Japan would suffer catastrophic damage if any of these un-intercepted missiles had nuclear warheads. Defense cannot be achieved with defensive arms alone. I think the JSDF is paying enormous amounts of money for these defensive weapons because the American defense industry is manipulating the Japanese public opinion. To cite an extreme example, there would be no risk of Japan being attacked if it had even several missiles with nuclear warheads as offensive weapons.
 To make a pragmatic forecast, in this circumstance I think the army and Congress would put up strong opposition to Japan having nuclear weapons and the U.S. Forces being withdrawn from Okinawa, no matter how much Trump wished for these things, to maintain hegemony in the Pacific Ocean. However, Japan should have a more long-range view. It should amend the constitution to become a truly independent nation and gain offensive weapons in readiness to ensure a balance of power in East Asia, where the American military power is being curtailed. And to maintain balance against the expanding China, Japan should join the nuclear sharing arrangement as a way to possess nuclear arms that the U.S. may just barely approve. The Japan-U.S. Security Treaty must be made into a bilateral agreement like the Anglo-Japanese Alliance of the past. In this way, I suspect the American public opinion – which is turning towards isolationism – would approve of Japan taking over the American position in East Asia. The American yoke is actually becoming more relaxed. Xi Jinping and Vladimir Putin are afraid of Trump becoming president, but they are in difficult positions due to the investigations regarding the Panama Papers. Abe has visited Russia and is getting closer to Putin. The U.S. has left points at issue between Japan and the U.S. by focusing on the return of the four islands of the Northern Territories, but I think Abe is looking for a way to compromise – such as the return of two islands – due to his mention of a “new proposal.” In this way, the circumstances surrounding Japan are starting to change significantly. I think now is the time for Japan to gain a free hand in independent diplomacy.
 Japan should strive to maintain a balance of power, gain offensive abilities as deterrence, and regain its position as the world’s number-two economic power so that it is not looked upon with contempt by the U.S., Russia, China, and South Korea. To that end, we must leverage the cutting-edge sciences and technologies and state-of-the-art medical technologies that are Japan’s forte. Moreover, we should use these leading-edge sciences and technologies to develop high-tech weapons like railguns and laser guns that are not nuclear arms. The current president of the Philippines is pro-Japan, and the world is at a major turning point. Now is a chance for Japan to be revived.
 The true character of the stealth complex of people who benefitted from Japan’s defeat in World War II – centered on members of the bureaucracy, legal circles, and media, and protected with the harmonious cooperation of top elite figures from the University of Tokyo’s Faculty of Law – has been revealed. I think this was greatly influenced when many people learned of the stealth complex after I had the Press Code printed as an ad run in a major media outlet for the first time. Right now, students in the University of Tokyo’s Faculty of Law are not moving into the bureaucracy or legal circles, but are instead finding jobs at foreign-affiliated investment banks and consulting companies. As a result, the solidarity of the stealth complex is weakening. The background to this includes the arrival of the Internet society in which many people can encounter the truth and major media outlets have lost credibility.
 I hope that Trump will win the American presidential election because it would be a chance for transformation of this sort. I previously wished that Marco Rubio would win the Republic primaries, but he dropped out because of his young age and lack of experience since he is in his first Senate term. I do hope he will spend the next eight years mastering new skills and then become the next Republican candidate after Trump. Trump has dominated the primaries by inciting the poor, uneducated, non-elite Americans, and next he must fight with Clinton. The Democratic supporters of today are highly educated people from the eastern part of the country and people of color, who comprise 40% of the population. I think Trump will probably start making claims based on reality to gain support from these demographics. For instance, he is currently against the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP), but the goal of this partnership is to check the expansion of China. If he deepened his understanding, I suspect Trump would change his stance. Trump also says he will build a wall between the U.S. and Mexico and prevent illegal immigration, but I think he will actually be lenient on immigrants in ways such as recognizing those already in the country, including their family members and relatives. This is because the American agricultural industry would fall apart without immigrants.
 Clinton has fewer female supporters than one would imagine. I feel that Trump should pick a running mate who is a non-white woman – someone who is young and appealing. Trump’s beautiful wife and daughter contributed greatly to gathering votes in the primaries. For example, Nikki Haley is the female governor of South Carolina. She is 44 years old and is an Indian-American. Another possibility is Sarah Palin, the governor of Alaska. Trump picking a running mate who is young and wise like Rubio (who quickly dropped out of the primaries), and who is supported by the main Republican faction, would also be a type of insurance for the Republican Party. If Trump was elected president and he actually adhered to his assertions, he would repeat John F. Kennedy’s mistakes. Kennedy resisted the expansion of the Vietnam War. Some people theorize that the defense contractors assassinated him to promote Lyndon B. Johnson, who would act according to their will, to the position of president. If Trump ran wild and ignored the feelings of the Republican Party, he might be assassinated, which would mean that his vice president takes over. What will happen in the future? I will keep my eyes on the American presidential election.

May 16 (Monday), 2016 10:00 a.m.