The Japanese cabinet’s approval Tuesday of the right to collective self-defense is a major shift of Japan’s defense policy.
Japan’s Peace Constitution states the self-defense forces can only adopt an exclusively defense-oriented policy. Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe had intended to overturn the constitution, but due to strong domestic opposition, he reinterpreted the constitution to allow Japan to defend its allies.
Generations of Japanese right-wing politicians have staged a relay race to amend the pacifist constitution. They proclaimed the right to send soldiers overseas, and now it is the right to exercise force. Abe has almost fulfilled this task, and the Peace Constitution will become nothing but a figurehead.
Abe and his followers are eager to free Japan from the restraints imposed by its defeat in World War II. The US aims to contain China by making use of Japan, which provides room for Abe’s strategic ambition. Japan’s aggression, previously restrained, has gradually awakened. The US has been quite aware of this, but it believes such a Japan suits its interests.
In the near future, Japan will be cautious in exercising the right of collective self-defense, but it’s hard to say in a few years’ time. Both Tokyo and Washington wish to see more disturbances in Asia, as the US hopes it will hinder China’s rise and Japan wants to seek opportunities to realize its rise both politically and militarily.
China needs to expose the Japanese rightists’ evil intent. Although South Korea also feels disgusted by Japanese right-wing forces, it will not stand up in opposition to Japan. Seoul is wary of its distance from China, Japan and the US.
We should not be too optimistic about the opinion war between China and Japan. To count on international opinion to press Japan has been proved unpractical, because the US and the West have no intention to stop Japan, despite their awareness of Japan’s dirty tricks. China should avoid a worse situation when it has to make strategic compromises with Japan in spite of Japan’s wrongdoings.
An aggressive Japan is nothing to be afraid of. China can well manage the security risks an overweeningly ambitious Japan poses. As long as China continues to rise, the US will deploy more forces in Asia. But between Beijing and Tokyo, Beijing has strategic advantage and is able to deter Tokyo.
With the increase of Japan’s military moves and the intensifying of confrontation between China and Japan, the region will face the pressure and new strategic elements are likely to emerge.
It’s almost 70 years since the end of WWII, but Japan has apparently forgotten about its past. The Japanese people have found every reason for their burning nationalistic ambitions.
Japan’s victorious past has gradually turned into the policies and actions of the Japanese government. It’s hard to say how far it will go, but what we need to do is to be ready in a way that makes Japan feel daunted.
Source: Source:Global Times Published: 2014-7-2 0:13:01