North Korea’s Nuclear Weapons Pose a Life-and-Death Crisis to Japan

Seiji Fuji

American presidents always base their decisions on winning re-election

 In its April 2018 issue, the magazine Sentaku published a special report entitled, “The Myth of a Deepening Japanese-American Alliance: Trump Will Forsake Japan Even More.” I will quote from the beginning:

If they are to actually take place, the historic United States-North Korea summit is scheduled for May, and the South Korea-North Korea summit (with North Korean Leader of the Workers’ Party of Korea Kim Jong Un and South Korean President Moon Jae In) and U.S.-Japan summit (with President Donald J. Trump and Prime Minister Shinzo Abe) for April. This is an unparalleled opportunity for the U.S. to achieve denuclearization of the North Korean Peninsula. Kim will try to use Moon to show the world the dirty tricks that he has repeatedly utilized against the U.S. in the past.
The schedule for the Korean top-level meeting was finalized on March 29, and there is a relaxed, peaceful mood in South Korea. However, this atmosphere will certainly disappear all at once.
China, which has sensitively inferred these circumstances, called Kim to Beijing over four days from March 25, urging him to handle this matter prudently. Across the table Kim will face a trio of the toughest hawks in the American government: Trump, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, and National Security Advisor John R. Bolton. These close associates will likely try to obstruct the small concessions that Trump may suggest as a “deal.” Abe – who, together with Trump, has called for maximum pressure rather than dialogue – will conversely be ridiculed if he advocates for pressure at their summit meeting. As long as Japan is involved in the issue of abductions by North Korea, it has no choice but to join hands with these American super-hawks.
At present, the three leading actors are Trump, Kim, and Moon. Abe and Chinese President Xi Jinping are playing minor roles. Still, the U.S. has already started a counterattack against China across the Korean Peninsula. The American government has placed sanctions and import restrictions on China, and seemingly at the same timing the U.S. Navy sent its missile destroyer USS Mustin near the Spratly Islands in a “freedom of navigation” strategy. Moreover, Trump has signed a law allowing the official exchange of and talks between senior officials from the U.S. and Taiwan. With this volatile Sino-American relationship, it is doubtful that Abe will be able to have an easy-going attitude while improving the Sino-Japanese relationship.

 Trump is forcing many of his ministers to resign, repeatedly bashing the media, and waging a trade war against China. All of these measures are for the sake of his re-election and victory in this year’s midterm elections. Top global leaders tell lies, kill people, and start wars to win re-election, and Trump will definitely make decisions based on this standard in his dealings with North Korea.

A sudden reversal in the attitude of reconciliation between South and North Korea results in a high probability of military action

 As part of its “Warning to Japan” series, the April 2018 issue of THEMIS magazine included an article by journalist Masayuki Takayama entitled, “While The Asahi Shimbun Guesses That Unification of the Korean Peninsula is Wished for, Missiles Will Soon be Launched!” The passage I will quote here is subtitled, “The U.S. Manipulated Japan to Attack Pearl Harbor.” It reflects on the historical American stance as follows:

In June 2017, Kim said he would use fire to control the old American lunatic. This New Year, he also stated, “The entire U.S. is within range of our nuclear weapons, a nuclear button is always on my desk.”
This abusive language is broadcast on North Korean television, which also played a video of New York being attacked by a nuclear weapon and engulfed by a sea of fire.
North Korea is criticizing Trump harshly, yet the American press seems to only ridicule Trump while totally disregarding this scorn from North Korea. Looking back, this is an unbelievable situation.
In the past, the U.S. Armed Forces earnestly set out to defeat a man it disliked for taking charge of the government of Grenada, a tiny island nation in its backyard. The same thing happened in Panama. It arrested leader Manuel Noriega and imprisoned him in the U.S. for a long period of time. This is the same method used in Xi’s China.
Some may say this was possible only because these were small countries, but what about Japan? When his New Deal failed, Franklin D. Roosevelt (FDR) thought joining the war was the only way to restore the domestic economy (Freedom Betrayed: Herbert Hoover’s Secret History of the Second World War and Its Aftermath by Soki Watanabe).
FDR provoked Japan for that reason alone. The U.S. saw Japan as nothing but an eyesore, a “yellow” country. FDR believed he could make Japan attack Pearl Harbor, and that Japan would suffer a crushing defeat in three months (same book).
Fumimaro Konoe did not lash out verbally like Kim; he spent a whole year humbly requesting a top-level meeting, which FDR turned a deaf ear to. This finally led to the Hull Note.

 Under the subtitle “A Sudden Reversal from ‘Imminent Reconciliation,’” the article continues:

History shows how the Americans will deal with North Korea, which is attempting to complete intercontinental ballistic missiles (ICBMs) and nuclear weapons to be equipped on these missiles that can reach the American mainland. If the U.S. tries to stop North Korea with military force, North Korea will retaliate against Seoul, burning it to the ground and killing tens of thousands of South Korean citizens. The Americans will certainly not take this into consideration.
The U.S. is unconcerned about collateral damage to these countries, or if tens of thousands of yellow-skinned Asians die in Seoul or Japan.
Furthermore, North Korea has reneged on multiple promises to abandon its nuclear program. It pledged to implement denuclearization in the 1990s, then betrayed this without compunction while receiving light-water reactors and petroleum. Then-Secretary of State Madeleine Albright criticized North Korea as a “rogue.”
American newspapers are optimistic, but central Japanese leaders expect a “bloody nose” strategy (striking North Korean nuclear- and missile-related facilities) to be implemented at the stage when reconciliation is immanent.

 As this article says, the potential of a limited military action by Trump remains extremely high.

Allowing North Korea’s nuclear weapons will result in an anti-Japanese Korean Federation

  Based on this, I wrote as follows in my essay in the May 2018 issue of Apple Town:

The U.S. Armed Forces prepare for all-out war even when carrying out limited military action, which takes from seven to eight months. Some have thought that the U.S. would immediately take military action against North Korea, but that would be impossible.
North Korea’s nuclear program is a means of self-defense against a Chinese invasion, and it has already succeeded. Right now, the potential is growing that South Korea will surrender to North Korea, creating the “Korean Federation” that possesses nuclear weapons. If North Korea is going to launch a nuclear attack against a country that cannot retaliate with nuclear weapons, its target will be Japan, not its compatriot of South Korea. Japan has been hit with two atomic bombs, and I think it is highly possible that it will be hit by nuclear weapons once again. I think that China (as the Empire of Xi) would eventually use the Korean Federation to threaten Japan and incorporate it into Greater China as a way to build a nation that can surpass the U.S. Now is the time for Japan to revise its constitution to recognize the Japan Self-Defense Forces as an army, enter into a nuclear sharing arrangement with the U.S., and maintain a nuclear balance.
 If the U.S.-North Korea summit results in North Korea being allowed to keep its current nuclear weapons while not conducting any further nuclear or missile launch tests, it is likely that North and South Korea will be integrated as I have written about. This could lead to the birth of the Korean Federation, an anti-Japanese nuclear weapons state with a population of 80 million people. It is highly probable that this nation would inherit the comfort women and requisitioned worker issues from South Korea, as well as the pre- and postwar reparation issue from North Korea, and use them to demand huge enormous sums of money from Japan. However, historical truths tell us that Japan invested huge amounts of money after annexing Korea to build infrastructure such as the Sup’ung Dam, which was referred to as the top dam in the world at that time. Japan constructed 5,200 elementary schools and 470 middle schools across Korea, as well as high schools, normal schools and other institutions, even before building Osaka Imperial University and Nagoya Imperial University on the Japanese mainland. It also founded Keijo Imperial University in Korea. Considering that these Japanese funds formed the economic and educational foundations of the postwar Korean Peninsula, there is absolutely no need for Japan to pay any reparations.

Striving for global hegemony, China will try to make Japan one of its autonomous regions

 Naturally, China would utilize this Korean Federation to threaten the Japanese archipelago. Toward the end of World War II, the Soviet Union became a military monster through extensive military aid from the U.S. and other nations. It was poised to communize a vast region of the world from Europe to Africa and Asia. The U.S. attacked Japan with atomic bombs as an offset strategy to restrain the Soviet Union, transforming the imminent World War III over global communization from a “hot war” to the prolonged Cold War. Today, Xi has abolished the Chinese presidential term limit of two terms (10 years) to turn China into his own empire, and China wants the global hegemony that the Soviet Union failed at achieving after World War II. China is implementing a long-term strategy to surpass the U.S. and win global hegemony by the 100th anniversary of the People’s Republic of China in 2049. To outdo the U.S., I think it would be essential for China to utilize the nuclear Korean Federation to incorporate Japanese technologies, human resources, and funds into Greater China. Japan may end up as an Chinese autonomous region like Inner Mongolia and Tibet, but at present China cannot easily meddle with Japan thanks to the close Japanese-American alliance. However, as described in Sentaku and THEMIS, I feel the Japanese-American relationship could be considerably damaged if Trump’s focus on re-election leads to him make dogmatic judgements and decisions that do not take Japan and South Korea into consideration. If that happens, the Sino-American balance will likely crumble.
 In Europe, the United Kingdom and France were drawn into the war with Nazi Germany because they guaranteed the independence of Poland and Romania. Despite their insufficient military power, they did this because Roosevelt had promised to join the war. This historical lesson shows how promises based on an erroneous perspective can lead to expanded warfare. Japan’s future will be largely impacted by the results of the meeting between the American and North Korean leaders. To avoid a repeat of World War II, I hope Trump’s decisions and negotiations will be based on a correct perspective. First, at this meeting he must not offer simple compromises that allow North Korea to keep its nuclear weapons. If Kim refuses to give them up, the summit should be immediately ended and the U.S. should carry out a limited air strike with prior warning. The U.S. should announce that this strike is not aimed at toppling the government or killing Kim, and specify when it will attack around 100 locations (including nuclear weapon and missile-related facilities).
Next, it should use cruise missiles, Tomahawks, and B-2 bombers to conduct a precise strike. This would physically take care of the problem by making it impossible for North Korea to use its nuclear weapons. The nuclear weapons that were not fully destroyed should be abandoned, in a verifiable way, so they are not turned at Japan in the future.
 We can say that North Korea poses a life-and-death crisis to Japan, yet the Japanese public opinion and National Diet are still at the mercy of The Asahi Shimbun and sympathetic media outlets that focus on the Moritomo Academy and Kake Educational Institution issues. The truth is that Japan cannot afford to think about this right now. Abe and the Japanese government must make every effort to encourage the U.S. to deny North Korea’s nuclear weapons and conduct a limited air strike with prior warning. They should emphasize that this process, from the air strike to denuclearization, would also benefit the U.S. over the long term. North Korean nuclear weapons would lead to the formation of a Korean Federation that is a sword thrust at Japan. If China uses this to bring Japan into Greater China, the U.S. would lose its global hegemony and give way to China. The North Korea crisis is a serious issue for the U.S. as well as Japan, which is something that Trump must take notice of right away.

April 20 (Friday), 5:00 p.m.