The American military government left Japan in 1952 leaving behind the 1948 peace constitutions intended to prevent Japan from ever rising again as imperial military power. But, the irony of the political fate was such that the U.S. had to ask its hated former mega-enemy to give hand to fight communism.
Washington was looking for a leader to fight communism for the U.S. It chose Kishi Nobuske as the post-war leader for Japan. Kishi was known as the “Showa Monster” for his merciless racism, his cruelty, his inhuman way of exploiting Chinese and Koreans to promote the interest of Japan in Manchuria in the 1930s.
He was also right hand man of Tojo Hideki during WWII; he tried his best to kill Americans.
Kishi was A-Class war criminal, but he avoided hanging for his potential utility to promote American interests in Japan. He spent three years in prison and, in 1957, he became prime minister and built the foundation needed for the control of the post-war destiny of Japan.
Kishi and the surviving former leaders of the Japanese empire refused to admit Japanese unconditional surrender and had the dream of reviving the glory and power of Japan.
This dream was inherited by Kishi’s grandson, Shinzo Abe and his group which I qualify as the Neo-Meiji Restoration Group (NMRG).
The Japanese hegemonic war in East Asia in the period 1910-1945 is called the “holy war” driven by Shinto nationalism. And it is most likely that the NMRG has been preparing another holy war (holy war 2.0).
This paper is interested in examining the following issues. To begin with, in the first section, this paper examines how Japan is preparing the possible holy war 2.0. In the second section, the paper discusses the impact of holy war 2.0 on neighbouring countries. Then, in the third section, scenarios of holy war 2.0 are presented. There will be a short section of conclusion.
Preparation for Holy War 2.0
The following are the strategies for war readiness:
- Role of the Nippon Gaigi
- State Shinto
- Further militarization
- Lobbying Campaign
- Washington-Tokyo complicity
- Japanese people’s submissiveness
Role of the Nippon Gaigi
To prepare for holy war 2.0, Japan must justify holy war 1.0 which took place during the first half of the 20th century.
The justification of the first holy war was needed in order to persuade the Japanese people to accept and actively support the second holy war.
The justification of holy war 1.0 has been promoted by the most far-right and the most influential organization known as the Nippon Gaigi (Japan Conference).
Nippon Gaigi is a huge think tank for the NMRG. It was established in 1981 and it has as many as 40,000 members most of whom are parts of the elite group of the Japanese society; it has 47 prefecture chapters and 230 local chapters.
The following amazing figures attest to its power. For instance, no less than 90% of Shinzo Abe’s ministers were its members; as many as 50% of law makers are its members. Shinzo Abe was its advisor.
The Nippon Gaigi is claiming this.
- Japan has never surrendered to the allied armed forces; the Pacific War is still continuing.
- The Tokyo War Criminal Court was not legitimate
- The invasion of Japan into Korea, Manchukuo and Chine was intended to liberate Asians from the West’s imperialism and civilize the inferior people in Korea, Manchukuo and China.
- Nippon Gaigi denies the existence of the Nanking Rape and the crime of raping Comfort Women.
If there is any incidence which prevents Japan from justifying its holy war is the crime against the “comfort women”.
In particular, for Japan, it is not easy to admit its crime against the comfort women, because it was the most unholy event. Therefore, to justify and glorify the holy war 1.0, the crime against the comfort women should not have existed, at least in the mind of the Japanese people who should fight for the holy war 2.0.
That is why the story of the crime against the comfort women is taken out from Japanese school history text books. The media is also strictly watched to avoid any mention of the crime. In fact, some years, ago a college professor in a college in Hokkaido wrote an article about the comfort women. He was fired on the same day.
The campaign of cover-up of the crime against the comfort women is so effective that the great majority of Japanese people, especially, the young generations are unaware of the crime. This is the result of the cover-up job of the Nippon Gaigi and the NMRG led by Shinzo Abe.
The interesting question is why the war mongering Japanese leaders are so sensitive to and so fearful about the comfort women crime. The answer lies in the fact that the crime was extremely brutal hellish human right violation.
What the world saw was something which can happen in the most hellish hell. What the world saw makes you feel ashamed to share this earth with the people who committed such a crime. When you see the images of young girls buried alive in mass graves, you cry with anger, sorrow and despair.
This crime had the following terrible characteristics.
First, it was most beastly cruel sexual torturing of poor girls ever recorded. In average, the poor girls had to be raped as many as 20 times a day.
Second, the number of victims was beyond imagination; no less than 250,000 women were victims.
Third, the horrible crime lasted during the whole period of the Pacific War. It was the longest collective raping ever recorded in the history of collective raping.
Fourth, it demonstrated the ugly face of Japanese racism revealed by the absence of Japanese comfort women and statements of two Japanese soldiers made during court hearings on war crimes.
A Japanese soldier said: “I raped these girls, because I am a soldier of the emperor!”
Another Japanese soldier said: “These comfort women are just military equipment!”
It appears that the NMRG led by Shinzo Abe are the most concerned with the brutal revelation of Japanese racism through the crime against the comfort women. This crime compromises Japan’s pretense of being a racism-free country.
Image: Nanking woman photographed after being raped by Japanese soldiers. (Licensed under the Public Domain)
The Nanking Rape was also surely one of the worst beastly crimes observed in the history of mankind. It was one of the most violent genocides ever committed in the annals of war.
Hundreds of thousands of Nanking residents were killed by canon, machine guns, rifles and Japanese swords. Countless girls, young women and old women were raped in open air in front of family members and neighbours. Most of buildings were destroyed.
Now coming back to the crime against the comfort women, Nippon Gaigi has a dilemma. It wants to deny the crime against the poor comfort women. But, to their disappointment, some of the prominent Japanese politicians admitted the crime.
In 1992, Koichi Kato, the, chief cabinet secretary, stated this.
“Government has been involved in the establishment of comfort stations, the control of those who recruited comfort women, the construction and enforcement of comfort facilities, the management of comfort stations… and that the government wanted to express its sincere apology and remorse to all those who have suffered indescribable hardship as so called wartime comfort women.”
In 1993, Yohei Kono, former chief secretary of the prime minster office, made the following statement.
- The Japanese military was directly or indirectly involved in the establishment and management of comfort women.
- The recruitment of comfort women was entrusted mainly by private recruiters of the comfort women.
- In many cases, they were recruited against their will.
- At times, administrative/military personnel took part in the recruitment.
- They lived in misery at comfort station under a coercive atmosphere.
Thus, Kato and Kono made it crystal clear that the sub-human treatment of 250,000 young girls mostly from Korea was carried out not only by the military but also by the administration of Japan. What these two former chiefs of cabinet said was the proof of the beastly atrocity committed to the poor girls by Japan. Kato even offered an apology.
In 1995, Tomichi Murayama, former prime minister, said this:
“In the hope that no such mistakes be made in the future, I regret in spirit of humility, these un-refutable facts of history and here once again my feeling of deep remorse and state my heartfelt apologies.”
In 2005, Junichiro Koizumi, former prime minster, made an apology:
“Sincerely facing these facts of history, I once again express my feeling of deep remorse and heartfelt apology.”
Both Murayama and Koizumi were highly respected prime ministers. In fact, Koizumi was Shinzo Abe’s boss.
But, incredible thing happened. Despite the public statement of these politicians admitting the historical fact of comfort women, the Nippon Gaigi and Abe deny the historical fact.
Since 2015, in numerous occasions, Shinzo Abe flatly denied the existence of the crime. At another occasion, he said that the comfort women came to the comfort camp voluntarily. In other occasions, he claimed that there was no coercion. In other occasions, he said that these women were prostitutes.
Many have wondered and still wondering why Shinzo Abe cannot accept the historical fact. What he said amounts to saying that those politicians who made apology including his boss, Koizumi, were lying.
As pointed out above, for the NMRG led by Shinzo Abe, the admission of the crime against the comfort women means the recognition of un-holiness of the first holy war making it impossible to justify and glorify it. If the first holy war is not holy, it is difficult to conduct second holy war.
What is troublesome is the fact that most of the Japanese people are not aware of the crime against the comfort women due to the very effective campaign of the non-existence of the crime. The NMRG led Shinzo Abe has succeeded in hiding the historical fact from the Japanese people.
By hiding from the Japanese people the crime against the comfort women, Nippon Gaigi led by Shinzo Abe has made a good start in preparing holy war 2.0.
State Shinto (Shintoism)
The preparation of Japan’s holy war 2.0 includes spiritual and religious war readiness. State-Shinto provides such readiness.
Shinto is a shamanic belief widely practiced for centuries in Japan. It has consisted in asking kami (god) to help for the solution of daily human life problems. There are tens of thousands of kamis in Japan. But, the most revered kami is Amaterus Omikami, the goddess who founded Japan.
Sinto was made national religion during the Meiji Era and it lasted until 1945. The most important Shinto policy was the 1890 Imperial Prescript of Education which made it compulsory to teach Shinto at schools.
I was myself educated in Shinto and I know about its devastatingly powerful impact on the mind and the soul of the people.
In Shinto (or Shintoism), the emperor is the linear descendent of goddess Amaterus Omikami. Hence, the emperor is divine.
And, the reason of being Japanese is to devote mind and body for the glory of the emperor and obey government which carries out the wish of the emperor.
The NMRG has been trying to restore the State Shinto. Already it is taught at schools.
Image: The torii gateway to the Itsukushima Shrine in Hiroshima Prefecture, Japan, one of the most famous examples of torii in the country. Torii mark the entrance to Shinto shrines and are recognizable symbols of the religion. (Photo by JordyMeow, licensed under CC BY-SA 3.0)
The State Shinto is, perhaps, the most weaponized religion in the world. It is the religion which made the “kamikaze pilot” to throw away the young lives for the glory of “den-no-hei-ka” (the emperor).
Shinto has returned and the NMRG led by the Kishi Nobuske-Shinzo Abe line force will be soon able to transform Shinto into State-Shinto.
In 1969, the Shinto Association for Spiritual Leadership was established. It is the political arm of the Association of Shinto Shrines which has 80,000 members. There are Shinto shrines in every town and many households have family shrines.
The political weight of Shinto is reflected by the fact that 99% of 2016 cabinet ministers are members of the Association. In fact, Shinto has become de facto State Shinto. Moreover, the Shinto Association is closely tied to the Nippon Gaigi through the Society of Defence Japan.
The spread of State Shinto will end up with the mobilization of Japanese people who will fight for the glory of the emperor. So, Shinto is an important strategic weapon for holy war 2.0.
Since the 2000s, various institutions and laws were established in order to make Japan a “normal country” capable of conducting war far from Japan. Most of these institutions and laws were initiated by Shinzo Abe and his fellow members of the NMRG.
Remember that Shinzo Abe was prime minister of Japan twice, 2006-2007 and 2012-2020
In 2007, the National Defence Agency was promoted to the status of Ministry of National Defence.
In 2013: the National Security Council was created in order to better plan and coordinate wars.
In 2013: the Secrecy Law was passed to control ant-war movement.
In 2014, Japan put the end to the self-imposed arms embargo.
In 2015, the National Diet passed a law allowing Japan to undertake “collective defence” by virtue of which Japan can send its armed forces abroad and participate in war undertaken by allies.
In 2022, both lower house and the upper house obtained two-third of seats needed to amend the peace constitution. There remains the popular referendum requiring two-third of popular votes allowing the process of undertaking the elimination of Article 9 of the peace constitution.
The media has been talking a lot about Japan’s remilitarization. But, what is happening now is not remilitarization; it is further militarization for war readiness.
Japan is already the third military power in Asia; it is highly militarized already. It did spend in 2020 as much as USD 50 billion compare to USD 40 billion in South Korea. In other words, Japan is more than remilitarized. Japan has been strengthening the striking capability of its armed forces.
Moreover, as we saw in the past, Japan can rapidly convert the civil industries into military industries. Japan can become, sooner than we think, a super military power threatening neighbouring countries including Korea and China.
Japan has two aircraft carriers. It has created the amphibious units to undertake amphibious attack against foreign country. It has developed long-range missile reaching even China. Japan has the capability to conduct anti-submarine warfare. It has Boeing V-22 Osprey and Global hawk drones.
The striking capability of the Japanese armed forces (nominally SDF) is great enough to stir up the fear of another pan-Asian war.
What Japan is preparing now is something far beyond its militarization; Japan is suspected by many for its preparation of its holy war 2.0.
In reality, Japanese military power can soon become super military power capable of hitting China with support of the U.S. and even ROK armed forces.
Another strategy of Japan’s war preparation is the lobbying (bribe) campaign. Japan is one of the countries extremely sensitive to its image; it wants to show to the world that it is very democratic, peace loving, non-racist and big donor to international organizations.
Above all, Japan has been pouring out money to persuade the world that what it did during the Pacific War was good for Asian countries, that the Nanking Rape never happened and that the beastly raping of 250,000 poor Korea girls was a fiction.
What is surprising is that the media of the West seldom raise the issues of comfort women and the Nanking Rape. This is the results of the brilliant bribe diplomacy of Japan. In the U.S., some of the major think tanks, university research centers and NGOs are fatly funded by Japan.
In 2021, Harvard University law professor Mark J. Ramseyer wrote an article in the International Review of Laws and Economics claiming that the crime of comfort women did not happen. More than three thousand North American university professors of the Korean origin published a long statement asking the journal not to publish the article. Harvard University published it nonetheless.
Professor Ramseyer was awarded the Order of the Rising Sun for his contribution for the promotion of Japanese interests. It is suspected that lobbying by Japan might have led to the publication of the article.
The media praises Japan as most democratic country. But, Japan has been ruled every year by the same party, the LDP, since 1957 except five years. Is it possible, in a truly democratic country, for the same party to rule for so long?
The media of the West seldom report on racial discrimination in Japan. But, Japan is the most racist country among developed countries.
What is troubling is that, due to Japan’s aggressive bribe campaign, the world may overlook the danger of possible Japan’s holy war 2.0.
At any rate, Japan’s lobbying campaign can be a very effective tool for the preparation of holy war 2.0.
There is another factor which pushes Japan to contemplate another holy war. It is the relationship between warmongering Washington and Japan’s NMRG led by Kishi Nobuske – Shinzo Abe line political and economic force.
In fact, the Washington-Tokyo complicity can be a big factor for the return of pre-1945 Japan. The following is some aspects of such complicity.
First, Washington seems to encourage Japan’s remilitarization.
WSJ: Patrick McCabe wrote “Japanese remilitarization is nothing more than Beijing narrative.”
Kurt M Campbell Biden’s top advisor said “Japan’s constitutional reinterpretation and military modernization is Chinese propaganda.” (quoted here)
Second, Japan’s lobbying campaign looks very effective. The following statement attests to it:
“American strategists are taken in by a far-right charm offensive (of Japan) and fail to understand their danger of what they are toying with” (ibid).
“The US foreign policy staff have deep connection to Japanese hawk think tanks including the Center for Strategies and International Studies (CSIS) and the Center for A New American Security (founded by Kurt Campbell).”
Third, However, there are voices warning Washington’s encouragement of Japan’s remilitarization.
“Any movement committed to preventing war and building transnational solidarity must consider the threat of Japan’s remilitarization and United States’ role in encouraging it, empowering and arming Japan’s far right could be worst mistake in the pivot to Asia yet.” (Gabriel Rodrigues)
Fourth, But, Washington needs Japan to share the burden of containing China.
“Washington wants Japan to ensure that the United States doesn’t shoulder the burden of policing the seas alone…and come to the United States aid in a possible military confrontation with China.” (foreignpolicy.com. August 15, 2015)
Ned Price,White House spokesman was quoted:
“We also value Prime Minster Abe’s assurance of Japan’s interest to expand its contribution to international peace and prosperity in years to come.” “But in East Asia where the memory of Japan’s behaviour during World War II still rings fresh, it is anything but.” (foreignpolicy.co: August 15, 2015)
As far as I am concerned, Washington’s reliance on Japan for its hegemonic battle against China is needed because of the failure of other existing measures. Since the Obama era, Washington has been trying to contain and bash China through Asia-Pivot, TPP, CPTPP, Quad, AUKUS and several bilateral trade or security alliances and partnerships, but none has worked to Biden’s satisfaction. This is one of the reasons for asking Japan to play more proactive role in the containment of China.
Thus, Washington’s invitation to Japan to play more roles in the Sino-American hegemonic war is an important factor for Japan’s preparation for war.
“It is important to know that the US-Japan alliance is for good of Asia.” (Shinzo Abe quoted by KBS Documentary, September 30, 2006)
This means that the joint hegemonic rule by Japan-U.S. is good for Asia. Is Abe sure that Asian countries share such imperialistic view of his?
“Without the aid of Japan, the US cannot assure security cooperation in Asia.” (High ranking official of the US Department of Defence, KBS Documentary, September 30, 2006)
To sum up, Washington encourages Japan to be ready for the proxy war, while Japan welcomes this opportunity for realization of its dream of restoring the power and glory of pre-1945 imperial and military Japan.
Japanese People’s Submissiveness
There is another factor which facilitates Japan’s war readiness. It is the relationship between the Japanese leaders and the Japanese people.
The relations between the elite leaders and the ordinary Japanese people are akin to what I call the “Samurai-Peasant relations”. We see often in movies and history books the absolute authority of Samurai over peasants. It is reported that, during the Tokugawa Era, the Samurai represented about 10% of the population.
But, 90% of the population were utterly powerless vis-à-vis mere 10% of the population of Samurai. In such situation, the Samurai looked down the peasant as inferior and sub-human. The current situation is not very different. The elite leaders are behaving like Samurai, while the ordinary Japanese people are acting like peasants.
Listen to what Professor Nakano had to say about the way the leaders think of the ordinary people.
“They (leaders) think that the kids and adults are being brainwashed by themselves blame and sense of shame in their history. They are romantic, they are irrational. They live their own world so they lack strategic thinking.” (Professor Koichi Nakano Sophia University)
If the people feel guilty for what Japan did during WWII, they are rational, not irrational; it should be rather the elite group who should feel guilty. Since they do not feel guilty, they are irrational.
It is certain that the people being rational would object another holy war. Unfortunately, their view will be totally ignored, because the leaders (Samurai) ignore the wish of people (peasant).
.An incidence which dramatically illustrated the Samurai-Peasant relations took place during the Tokyo Summer Olympics in 2019. The world saw that 90% of the Japanese people were asking the government to abandon the Olympics or postpone it. But the government of Suga completely ignored the people’ wish.
Professor Kobayashi was urging the people to stop the remilitarization of Japan.
“We have to fight and not give up. Otherwise, we will live under dictatorship, freedom and democracy will not exist.” (Prof. Setsu Kobayashi, leading constitutional expert in Japan)
Only the ordinary Japanese can stop another holy war. But, I am afraid they cannot. This is another factor allowing further militarization of Japan.
Impact of Holy War 2.0 Readiness
The impact of the possible second holy war is the fear and the concern of those countries which were victims of the Japanese brutal aggression and those individuals who know the true face of Japanese leaders.
For example, the Journal, Foreign Policy, has made some pertinent observation regarding Abe’s ambition.
“The most rigorous accounts of Abe’s life make it plain that his political raison d’être was the restoration of Japan, its former glory: all else was but a means to that end.” (foreignpolicy.com/2022/07/14)
There is another interesting observation on Shinzo Abe.
“Fuelled by nostalgia for military glory, ultra-nationalism has sought to restore not only Japan’s armed forces, but its beautiful traditional national character.” (Lisa Torio: jacobin.com/2017/03)
These two statements show how much the Japanese conservative leaders led by Abe are yearning to restore the mighty and glorious Japan of yesterdays.
Unfortunately, Shinzo Abe’s ambition stirs malaise and fear of those who know the NMRG’s ambition. Here are some of statements showing such fear and malaise.
“Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe is setting the country on course for remilitarization much to the exasperation of Japanese wartime enemies, China and Korea.” (See this)
“With the Abe administration reaching for empire, a movement without an anti-imperialist framework, it is ill equipped to challenge the far right remilitarization campaign.” (Lisa Torio: jacobin.com/2017/03) This statement makes allusion to the return of Japanese imperialism.
“They are thinking about Asia before the war when Japan was leader of Asia. They want to repeat that.” (Prof. Setsu Kobayashi)
“The world will not be fooled. It only conjures up the ghost of Japan once again. The last time the Japs talked about a Great East Asia co-prosperity Sphere, it turned into a horrible nightmare for many of its neighbours.” (soc.cu/ture.china narratives)
Gabriel Rodrigues has made some interesting comments.
“A twenty-first century Japanese fascism will take drastically different from what it did in the 1930s, but there is no doubt it constitutes a major threat to East Asia and Japan itself.”
“China should be more afraid of Japanese military than the American.” (Chi Wang, consultant of US-China Trade for H.W. Bush administration)
“South Korea nominally Japan’s alley views a resurgent Japan is a greater threat to its national security than China or even North Korea.” (Gabriel Rodrigues.auth.jacobinmag.com/2020/ 10/)
I made rather lengthy quotations to show how Japan’s remilitarization and war readiness could be the object of concern in China and Korea. The war readiness of Japan will end up necessarily with armament race which will eventually lead to shooing war with no winners.
Scenario of Holy War 2.0
My scenario of the second holy war is focused on the troublesome relations between Washington and Tokyo. To put it in plain English, Washington needs Japan’s military muscle to destroy China, while Japan needs Washington to repeat the adventure of a new version of the East Asia Co-prosperity Sphere.
So far, Washington has been handling well the Japanese NMRG so that Japan’s military power should not be strong enough to threaten America.
American has not forgotten the sneaky murderous attack against Pearl Harbour, nor have the Japanese forgotten holocaust of Hiroshima-Nagasaki.
The trouble is this. Joe Biden is pathologically obsessed to destroy China. But, the dilemma for Biden is the fact that even with national defence budget of almost USD 800 billion, American military power is not good enough to hit China alone. Biden needs Japan’s military support.
Shinzo Abe and his NMRG friends know it. They are willing to go long way to destroy and rule China or Korea in complicity with Washington. Biden will support Japan’s further militarization despite the danger of Japan’s becoming American enemy, if conditions allow.
Now, the key factor in the Sino-American war is the role of Taiwan. Washington is facing difficult choice regarding Taiwan. It must be pointed out that Taiwan is Washington’s fixed aircraft carrier sitting in front door of China; it is the best defence line against China. If China attacks Taiwan, Washington will lose such strategic defence line.
However, the ultimate objective of anti-China policy is to destroy China. But, at the moment, Washington does not have the military capability to destroy China. Therefore, Washington waits until its two proxy military powers, Japanese armed forces and South Korean armed forces, especially the Japanese armed forces, become strong enough to destroy China for the U.S. It may take five years for Japan to become super military power.
Under such situation, I envisage the following scenario.
The first target of Japan’s holy war 2.0 will be China. If Japan come out of China war with military capability strong enough, then the second target will be North Korea.
There are two reasons for North Korea not being the first target of the holy war. One is the possibility of intervention of China and even Russia to help North Korea. The other is Washington’s priority is the destruction of China not the killing of North Korea which has little meaning to Washington.
The anti-China war may take the following process.
First, Washington or Tokyo would induce China to attack Taiwan. There are five conditions under which China is supposed to arrack Taiwan: declaration of Taiwan independence, internal turmoil within Taiwan, deployment of weapons of mass destruction (WMD), Taiwan’s military alliance with a foreign country and 1992 intra-China consensus for “One-China policy.”
Of these five conditions, Taiwan’s independence declaration is not likely to happen, because President Tsai ing-wen herself says that Taiwan is de facto independent.
When Washington judges Japan’s readiness, Washington or Japan might provoke the violation of one of the three conditions, namely, internal turmoil, deployment of WMD or military alliance of Taiwan.
The Taiwan-China war will become a war between the Taiwan Alliance (U.S. Japan, South Korea and Taiwan) and China; it will become TA-China war. The big question is whether the South Korean armed forces will join.
For the moment, the possibility of the ROK army’s participation in the Taiwan-China war is great, because the new South Korean government is run by the pro-Japan conservative South Koreans (PJCSK) led by Yoon Suk-yeol who regards himself as the obedient servant of Tokyo and Washington.
But, if the liberal government of the Democratic Party retakes the power in five years, the situation will be different.
It is not easy to predict the outcome of the TA-China war. But, it is likely that the economies of the three Asian countries and Taiwan will be so devastated that it will take long time to recover. It is possible that the Japanese economy will be so damaged that Japan might lose its status of super military power.
As for the Unites States, the destruction of China and Japan means the elimination of present enemy (China) as well as the potential enemy (Japan). So, the U.S. will be the winner.
There are reasons for the U.S. to come out of the TA-China war with little damage. To begin with, the U.S. territory is far away from the battle ground. It is likely that the role of the U.S. may be limited to the provision of weapons and air and sea battle support without sending GIs to the battle ground. The actual shooting and killing will be dome by the Japanese and Korean soldiers. Here we see the tragic scenario of the Ukraine-Russia War repeats itself.
As indicated above, it is likely that no one will come out winner except the U.S. However, if Japan survives the TA-China war and if it has some economic and military capability left, the next target of conquest will be North Korea. Here, Japan needs the support of South Korea and Washington.
As long as the pro-Japan conservative government rules South Korea, Japan can count on the participation of ROK armed forces to join the attack against North Korea.
Now, the American armed forces are likely to allow the Japanese invasion into North Korea, because Washington must reward Japan for its participation in the TA-China war.
The irony is that the history may repeat itself. We remember the Taft-Katsura Agreement of 1905 signed by Katsura Taro, prime minister of Japan and William Howard Taft, secretary of war of the U.S. By virtue of this agreement, Washington let Japan to swallow Korea, while Japan overlooked the American colonization of the Philippines.
However, if North Korea is attacked, it will fight back, even with nuclear weapons, if needed. The cost of Japan’s war against North Korea will be too high to continue its Holy War 2.0.
The Neo-Meiji Restoration Group (NMRG) led by the Kishi Nobuske-Shinzo Abe line political forces has been preparing the second holy war.
Several measures have been applied to prepare the holy war.. The Nippon Gaigi has been able to hide from the Japanese people Japan’s worst crimes committed during WWII so that they would support the second holy war. The return of Shinto provides radical nationalism needed for holy war 2.0.
The acceleration of remilitarization, global lobbying campaign for the justification of the first holy war, the Washington-Tokyo complicity for anti-China war and the traditional submissiveness of the Japanese people are the factors which will facilitate the Japan’s readiness for war.
The impact of Japan’s remilitarization and its readiness for the second holy war makes East Asian countries, especially China and Korea, nervous and uneasy and this will intensify armament race leading to regional security instability.
Japan’s readiness for war is likely to increase the probability of TA-China war. The TA-China is likely to destroy the military capability and the economies of Taiwan, China, Japan and South Korea. These countries will be losers. Only the U.S. will be the winner.
Now, if Japan survives the TA-China war and if it still has military striking capability left, Japan will attack North Korea with the support of South Korea and the U.S.
If attacked, North Korea will hit back, even with nuclear weapons. Here, again, there is no guarantee that Japan will win.
In short, the dream of restoring the pre-1945 Japan and conduct the second holy war is likely to remain a dream, no more, no less.
The drive for the second holy war is indeed an adventure which is “Seppuk adventures.” This is the legacy of Sinzo Abe.
Soon, Japan will become a “normal country” with its regular armed forces and the right to conduct war. If the “normal Japan” has the ambition of conducting holy war 2.0, it is likely that Japan will be damaged so badly that it will be difficult to recover.
To conclude, it is sincerely hoped that “Normal Japan” would abandon the dream of ruling again Asia by force and, instead cooperate with China, Korea and other countries for the creation of “East Asia Co-Prosperity and Co-Security Sphere” which will respect the national sovereignty of countries of the region, promote the regional peace and assure the regional prosperity.
Dr. Joseph H. Chung is professor of economics and member of the Research Center on Integration and Globalization (CEIM) of Quebec University in Montreal (UQAM). He is a Research Associate of the Centre for Research on Globalization (CRG).
Featured image is from Oriental Review
Republished by The 21st Century
The views expressed in this article are solely those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the opinions of 21cir.com