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Nutty editorial by the Dong-A Ilbo

August 7th, 2006 . by Matt

Here is an editorial from the Dong-A Ilbo that even manages to dredge Seven-Year War (the Imjin Wars) over 400 years ago.

Japan’s “new leaders,” including chief cabinet secretary Shinzo Abe, are raising their voices that “Japan should exercise collective self-defense.”

In a press conference last week, Secretary Abe said, “Renouncing the right to collective self-defense which is allowed under the international law is like becoming an incompetent person.”

Finance minister Sadakazu Tanigaki said, “I wish to push ahead for a revision of the Constitution in a way that the right of collective self-defense is acknowledged.” Foreign minister Taro Aso argued, “What if the nation gets destroyed while we stick to the Constitution?”

As “a war criminal country” that started the Second World War in the Pacific, Japan enacted the Peace Constitution where it swore to “forever renounce war” as a sign of repentance. The Constitution (article 9) provides that land, sea, and air forces will never be maintained and that the right of belligerency of the state will not be recognized. The same holds true for the right to collective self-defense, the act of fighting back an armed attack against allies. Even Prime Minister Koizumi said, “The right of collective self-defense cannot be exercised unless the constitution is revised.”

However, new leaders who will shoulder the future of Japan are saying that they want to change Japan into “a nation that can wage a war.” Most countries around the world are reluctant to possess collective self-defense fearing that they might be embroiled in “a war of others.” Nonetheless, Japan’s new leaders are pursuing collective self-defense, making it hard to shed the ominous premonition for the future of the Northeast Asia. What comes to mind is a horrifying reemergence of a militant nation in Japan.

Already, Japan is going right at an accelerating pace. Reports have it that Prime Minister Koizumi will visit the Yasukuni Shrine once more before his retirement in this September. Secretary Abe who is a promising candidate to replace Koizumi turned out to have paid a visit to the shrine on April 15 already. China immediately expressed regret, but Japan seems not to care. One day, paying a visit to the shrine will become a routine.

From Imjin War to the Sino-Japanese War to the Russo-Japanese War to the War in the Pacific, each time, Japan was the main culprit in spreading the flames of war in Northeast Asia. If Japan is not to repeat that tragic history, it should not discard its Peace Constitution.

I would point out to the Dong-A Ilbo that the post WW2 Japanese constitution also provided for a constitutional means of changing the constitution, including the peace clause of the constitution, so it is unlikely the peace clause was ever designed to be some sort of national suicide pact. Modern day Japanese are not war criminals, nor were Japanese in WW2, excluding a tiny minority. I would suggest that it is threats from North Korea, the overall NE Asia security situation, and aggressive and angry rhetoric coming out of South Korea that is the impetus for this change. Editorials like this one from the Dong-A Ilbo that blame Japan for all wars in NE Asia will only serve to convince people in Japan that constitutional change is necessary.


7 Responses to “Nutty editorial by the Dong-A Ilbo”

  1. comment number 1 by: ponta

    As “a war criminal country”

    Does the author forget how many Korea war criminals there were ?

    …..Japan enacted the Peace Constitution where it swore to “forever renounce war” as a sign of repentance

    In other words,Korea has not shown even a sign of repentance after their war at Korea and at Vietnam..

    Most countries around the world are reluctant to possess collective self-defense fearing that they might be embroiled in “a war of others.”

    Is that why Korea wants to separate their army from US army so that USA will not be “embroiled in a war of others”? Good for USA citizens.Surely they don’t want be cursed by Korea after they are killed in the battle for Korea.

    From Imjin War to the Sino-Japanese War to the Russo-Japanese War to the War in the Pacific, each time, Japan was the main culprit in spreading the flames of war in Northeast Asia.

    From Korea helping Mongol invasion against Japan to Korea helping Japan in the Russo-Japanese War to the War at Korea and at Vietnam.Korea was the main culprit in being aggressivly involved in the war and in making others embroiled in the war.It reminds all asians of the evil man who swaggers making use of the boss’s influence.

    .

    If Japan is not to repeat that tragic history, it should not discard its Peace Constitution.

    Japan has not engaged in the war since WWⅡ
    Korea has engaged in the war twice since WWⅡ,and don’t forget Korean war has not ended yet.If Korea is not to repeat that tragic history, just face the history and mind your own bussiness.

  2. comment number 2 by: KapSin

    Ponta,

    You make a good point about Koryo supplying some 10,000 men to Kublai’s invasion of Japan. I don’t know why the Japanese bring this up whenever the Koreans bring up the Im-jin War.

  3. comment number 3 by: ponta

    Kapsin
    thanks
    what is little known is that it is Koryo that suggested kulai to invade Japan.
    toron高麗史 元宗十三年(1272)

    世子 諶云、「吾父子、相継朝覲、特蒙恩、宥小邦人民、得保。遺瞧 感戴之言不可。既 諶 連年入覲、毎荷皇恩、区々之忠、益切致効。惟彼日本、未蒙聖化。故発詔、使継糴軍容。戦艦兵糧、方在所須。儻以此事委臣、庶幾勉尽心力、小助王師。

    translation

    My father and I are honored to visit your palace and be given great favour from Your Majesty,We could keep this small country because you ruled our people kindly.
    We can not describe how we are thankful.I would like to show my loyalty. Japan has not received your sacred influence of your Majesty.Therefore I prepared troops, ships and foods.It is high time to use them.If your Majesty give me a chance, I will do the best to help the troop of the emperor

  4. comment number 4 by: jsg

    Does the author forget how many Korea war criminals there were ?

    This reminded me of the Korean prisoner of war guards during WWII who had a reputation for casual cruelty that surpassed the Japanese who ran the camps. The Koreans are well remembered, not only by the surviving prisoners who suffered at their hands, but also by the historians who have written about the subject. Outside of those books, though, this past probably isn’t broadly known. Certainly here in Korea, you would never read about it. But when I first read about it, it didn’t surprise me in the least to learn that Koreans had a historical reputation for gratuitous cruelty.

    BTW, Matt, I really enjoy your site.

    Jeff

  5. comment number 5 by: tomato

    It’s rather convenient to pretend being the victim…like the Nazis, remember, claimed that the German people were being discriminated in Czechoslovakia when they invaded her…but now the Japanese are realizing who the real aggressors are…recent polls show that the Japanese do not trust the Koreans anymore…

  6. comment number 6 by: Iceberg

    Damn! I thought the headline was NUDIE editorial. No more drinks for me tonight.


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