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View Diary: As Others See Us (244 comments)

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  •  As a fu**ing ally, we Japanese (none)
    don't understand what happened. I think I do. I couldn't sleep the election night.

    My spouse is intelligent enough to warn me, "Don't discuss politics with Americans any more, because you never know which camp they are in." (She correctly predicted Bush would win.)


    •  What about your Prime Minister? (none)
      Junichiro Koizumi seems to have nailed Japan's flag to the alliance with the US. As with most of our "allies" in Iraq, this seems to be based on realpolitik rather than a conviction that the invasion was a good idea.

      Does Japan feel it can afford to have an independent foreign policy?  I'm afraid of the possible consequences (remilitarization) if you do. I also feel sorry that US policies have put you in this position.

      •  No, it's not realpolitik at all. (none)
        To say otherwise is ex post facto rationalization of textbook level. Most Japanese have a version of a "gentle, kind, big borther" America and often get carried away by the image. (Me including, I hate to admit.) Koizumi found in Bush his America, unfortunately.  Since then, he just went as time went by, galvanized by his rhetoric.

        There is no voice of reason unfortunately.  The foreign policy people befriended the Republicans so much that they are sucked into Foxnews. One of them told me, seriously, "We can't afford to lose America. There are Chinese nuclear warheads targeted against us."  I had to explain to him that the only superpower which would strike Japan has been America, because if Russia had invaded Hokkaido, the immediate response from the US would have been a nulcear strike. He lost words in disbelief. What an asshole.

        By sending the army into Iraq, Japan has changed, irreversibly, in my opinion. We felt the pride and urge, as most nations would feel about foreign aggression. I expect Japan to enounce the peace constitution soon.  Don't feel sorry.  We only got ourselves to blame.

        Ironically, however, the latest developments in Iraq and this election may have changed the odds. We are beginning to realize what a mess Iraq is and what a mess Bush-2 will be.

        •  Today's attitude like yours makes Japan weak. (none)
          I have Japanese blood, grew up there when I was a kid, returned there as an adult in the US military, and I'm actually up in Aomori Pref right now, soon to return to the US.  You sound just like the defeatist post-WWII anti-American Japanese that are a dwindling legacy -- slowly disappearing, thankfully. You probably were Japanese educated judging from your ridiculous US-nuked-us rhetoric. Your school systems aren't exactly known for an honest historic view on certain events such as the Chinese occupation's attrocities which many still deny...much like denial on the US side regarding FDR and Pearl Harbor.

          It is a weak defeatist view for you not to desire that Japan cast off its WWII legacy and particularly that self-defensive constitution. You want to remain weak and pacifict in the face of a growing NK nuclear build-up? You're insane. Most Japanese I know, many of them in the JASDF, want a reduced US presence particularly in okinawa, and an increased allocation of Japanese offensive capability. Japan needs to build up this capability now because China and NK are growing threats, particularly the former in the long term.

          Forget WWII...get the fuck over it. It's the 21st century and there are new threats and new alliances. Japanese like you shame the proud history of honor and pride passed down by generations descended by samurai.  The Japanese for 1000 years were proud warriors and it's time they remembered where they came from and shake off the shadows of WWII's defeat. You embarass me.

          •  Thank you for sharing your thought (none)
            Not that I agree with it. As you know, the "proud samurai" history, used as a military narrative, in fact bred the atrocities committed in China. I don't think you want to talk about it.

            Yes, JSDF wants to expand its offensive capabilities against China, and it will make Japan the unique country who actually raises the military tension in the region. Don't assume China has forgotten the history.  They will respond in kind. So will Korea.

            In 1931, when Japan invaded China, Japan claimed that it only acted in self defense, mocked the League of Nations and proclaimed a new alliance (with Germany and Italy).  We even fabricated evidence of Chinese sabotage. I don't see anything different in what Bush did last year from that history of ours. We are only 60 years different from those days and any thought that we are better in the 21th century is only an illusion.

            Finally, I challenge you to think why a more assertive Japan should have anything to do with Iraq today. It's convoluted.

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