On February 5, the top article on the front page of the Sankei Shimbun Morning Edition was “Diet Coalition Moves on China’s Human Rights Suppression.”
Things are moving faster in other countries around the world. The article reads:
Right before stepping down as U.S. secretary of state, Mike Pompeo said on January 19 that over one million people are arbitrarily imprisoned in the XUAR and that many women have been subjected to forced sterilization procedures. He declared that this oppression is “genocide.” Current Secretary of State Antony Blinken indicated a similar awareness, and emphasized that the Joe Biden administration will deal strictly with China’s human rights issues.
The American Uyghur Human Rights Policy Act was signed into law in June 2020. It imposes sanctions on Chinese officials who take part in oppressing the Uyghur people. Afterwards, XUAR Communist Party Secretary Chen Quanguo, the top official in this region, and others became targets for sanctions.
The article mentioned France and Germany, saying, “Even those European nations that are strengthening ties with China are speaking more negatively of it.”
Pompeo pointed out that one million people are incarcerated, which has been confirmed through satellite observation. More and more facilities, thought to be internment camps, are being built in the XUAR. Japan must wake up to this oppression of Uyghurs in our neighboring country and consider how to deal with China. I believe that multiple supra-partisan Diet caucuses should demand that Japan do something in response to China’s suppression of human rights.
China’s poor treatment of East Turkestan did not begin with the present oppression. I will excerpt an article, entitled “Health and Nuclear Testing,” posted on the World Uyghur Congress website on May 5, 2007.
The article read as follows under the subtitle, “The nuclear tragedy that befell the Uyghurs: hundreds of thousands of sudden deaths, acute radiation damage to millions of people.”
Study results say that 190,000 Uyghurs residing near Lop Nur died suddenly from the impacts of nuclear testing in that area, and that 1.29 million people suffered serious impacts including acute radiation damage (particularly leukemia, thyroid cancer, and other types of cancer; stillbirths; and birth defects). Furthermore, these survey results reflect the harm caused by large-scale megaton nuclear bomb explosions on the earth’s surface; the actual number of victims is larger when counting the people harmed by other types of nuclear testing. Confidential CPC intelligence theorizes that 750,000 people have been killed by nuclear testing.
Sapporo Medical University Emeritus Professor Jun Takada won the Grand Prize (Fuji Seiji Prize) in the 4th Annual “True Interpretations of Modern History” Essay Contest. He mentioned an NHK program on the Silk Road broadcast in the 1980s that inspired an estimated number of 270,000 Japanese people to travel to East Turkestan. Takada said, after returning to Japan from western China, they and their family members reported that some had experienced leukemia, lung cancer, and malignant lymphoma. It is also suspected that actress Masako Natsume, who passed away from acute myelocytic leukemia in 1985, died from the impacts of the radiation she was exposed to in the Uyghur desert on a film shoot several years before her death. In this way, Japanese people have also suffered for the sake of China’s growth.
Together with the issue of incarceration, Pompeo also mentioned the forced sterilizations being performed on Uyghur women. On February 4, the Nishinippon Shimbun ran an article entitled, “Did China Forcibly Sterilize 100,000 Uyghurs and Other Women? Number Increases 18 Times in Five Years.”
The actual birth rate is falling as well. Forced sterilization is a customary method used for ethnic cleansing. If this is true, then it is logical for China to be denounced for genocide.
China invaded Tibet at about the same time as it did East Turkestan (XUAR). Takushoku University Professor Pema Gyalpo, who was born in Tibet and became a naturalized Japanese citizen, wrote about the Chinese invasion as follows in his book, China Stole my Native Country and Killed 1.2 Million People: The Words of a Man From Tibet to Japanese People Who Have Not Taken Notice of This Aggression (Heart Shuppan).
There were almost no foreign nationals in Tibet at that time, let alone “imperialists.” Although the Tibetan government objected to this declaration and attempted to fortify its defense, it was already too late. The PLA became an invading army and descended on eastern Tibet (the Amdo and Kham regions) that October. The Tibetan army, which had just thousands of soldiers and few weapons, could not defend against the PLA that had tens of thousands of soldiers.
The eyes of the world were focused on the Korean War that broke out that year, so the invasion drew little global attention and no international aid was provided. China took advantage of this war to invade Tibet, a type of method it uses constantly. It is even putting border-related pressure on India today (autumn 2017) in the midst of the North Korea crisis.
It is certain that China carried out an invasion. It used violence to force Tibet to consent to the Seventeen Point Agreement, by which it gained control of Tibet. China then violated the agreement by not allowing Tibet even the minimum level of self-government. In the end it took the unforgiveable step of having its armed forces slaughter civilians. Still, we must recognize that the Tibetan side made many mistakes that allowed this invasion to take place.
The PRC has threatened and waged war with its surrounding countries throughout its history since 1949. Having made East Turkestan and Tibet into autonomous regions, China fought with India in the Sino-Indian Border Conflict of 1962, with the Soviet Union in the 1969 Damansky Island incident, and with Vietnam in the 1979 Sino-Vietnamese War. After wars with its land neighbors settled down, China then turned its eyes to marine expansion. In the 1980s, China’s objective was to gain control of the sea in the “first island chain” including the East and South China Seas, and in the “second island chain” from the Izu Islands to Papua New Guinea. In 1992, China revealed its intent to advance into the Pacific Ocean by executing its territorial seas law that named the Senkaku Islands, Spratly Islands, and other areas as Chinese territory. To achieve this ambition, it began reclaiming reefs to build artificial islands with military bases in the South China Sea in the 2010s. And to augment its naval power, China finished the incomplete aircraft carrier it purchased from Ukraine and brought it into commission as the Liaoning in 2012. Shandong, its first domestically produced aircraft carrier, came into commission in 2019, and it is currently building a third carrier. China is also strengthening its air force. Chinese air force fighters were previously poor copies of Soviet (Russian) aircraft, but these have been replaced by cutting-edge, domestically developed aircraft like the J-10, its mainstay fighter, and cutting-edge J-20 stealth aircraft, although it only has a few of these.
The military balance between China and Japan is being narrowly maintained through the Japan-U.S. Security Treaty. The Chinese air force and Japan Air Self-Defense Force are mostly evenly matched today, but China will gain the upper hand if it deploys more J-20 aircraft, which are said to have longer ranges than the Japan Self-Defense Force’s (JSDF) upcoming mainstay F-35 fighters. Japan’s control of the air would be endangered in that case. And while the Maritime Self-Defense Force has control of the sea thanks to its deep-sea submarines and torpedoes, this superiority will be lost if China develops submarines with similar capabilities. China has extraordinary economic strength conferred by its 1.4 billion people, and economic power is directly linked to military power. Japan may end up as a Chinese autonomous region if we do not consider how to maintain a balance of power against China. To avoid this, going forward it will be important for Japan to collaborate with Vietnam, Taiwan, the Philippines, Indonesia, and other nearby Asian countries as well.
To stand against China as it shows off its military force, Japan should build a regional alliance, like the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) in Europe, that also includes Africa. Japan does not want to experience peace through ruling other countries or being ruled itself. Instead, we should ensure peace through a balance of power with the expanding China according to a collective security arrangement.
Japan has not enjoyed peace due to Article 9 of the constitution or the Japan-U.S. Security Treaty. Rather, peace has been ensured with a balance of power by the JDSF – the powerful advance guard against any invasions – with American support according to the Security Treaty. But how can we strike a balance in the future as well? Many people do not understand that the U.S. Armed Forces would not fight on our behalf if China invaded Japan, despite the Security Treaty. Rather, Japan must defend its own interests, territories, skies, and waters, with the American forces serving as an ally and providing support. Vietnam won independence from France in the First Indochina War (1946 – 1954). In the Vietnam War (1955 – 1975), it forced out the U.S. in 1973 and reunified North and South Vietnam in 1975. Moreover, Vietnam then invaded Cambodia in 1978 and dismantled and removed the Pol Pot government that carried out a genocide of 1.7 million Cambodians. To punish Vietnam for this act, China invaded Vietnam in 1979 and started the Sino-Vietnamese War, but Vietnam drove China out and won the war.
Japan should learn from the Vietnamese mentality that says a country must protect itself. The only way for Japan to maintain peace with the expanding China is to establish a collective security arrangement with our neighbors that honor freedom and democracy, backed by the presence of the U.S., and to export weapons as well. To that end Japan must revise its constitution as soon as possible so we can defend our own country and transform the JSDF, which acts according to police powers, into a national army that functions as a military.
February 16 (Tuesday), 11:00 a.m.