Japan’s House of Councilors Briefly Transforms into Rada Outpost
Pictures such as those below used to primarily reach us from Ukraine’s Rada, back before Poroshenko’s “lustration law” banned about four million Ukrainian citizens from the political process forever. In Ukraine, brawls regularly broke out between Western Ukrainian nationalists and representatives of Eastern Ukrainian ethnic Russians.
Last week we received similar imagery from the upper house of Japan’s Diet, a.k.a. the House of Councilors.
A brawl breaks out in the usually quite reserved upper house of Japan’s Diet
Photo credit: Toru Hanai / Reuters
A few close-ups:
Alain Delonakawa dishes out an an uppercut
Photo credit: Yuya Shino / Reuters
Take that you bastard! Lawmakers are piling on in scrum-fashion
Photo credit: Yuya Shino / Reuters
So what has happened? Why are Japan’s notoriously consensus-prone and bushido-inhibited lawmakers suddenly trading fisticuffs and one presumes, matching verbal insults?
Dulce et Decorum est pro Patria Mori?
As our long-time readers know, we have posted a portrait of Japan’s nationalist-socialist prime minister Shinzo Abe a while back, entitled “Shinzo Abe’s True Agenda”. In brief: “fixing” Japan’s economy with even more inflation and deficit spending is only a side-show for Abe. He is convinced that he has a quasi-divine mission to bring Japan back to its glorious militaristic past. In this, he appears to be influenced by the philosophy of his grandfather Nobusuke Kichi, who actually served as a minister in Japan’s war cabinet during WW2 and became prime minister in the late 1950s.
Nationalist Shinzo Abe has succeeded in altering Japan’s pacifist constitution to allow its armed forces to take part in overseas missions
Photo credit: Koji Sasahara / AP
As a first step in this process, Abe has pursued a change of Japan’s pacifist post WW2 constitution, so as to allow Japan’s military forces to operate abroad again (as opposed to fulfilling a purely defensive function). In other words, similar to numerous European US vassals, he wants Japan also to take part when the Empire decides to bomb some defenseless little country usually inhabited by brown-skinned people back into the stone age.
Not surprisingly, emotions have been flaring in Japan as a result. Especially the older generation that still has lots of painful memories of the war is strongly opposed to abandoning Japan’s post WW2 pacifism – regardless of the “reasoning” forwarded as to why it should be ditched. They don’t seem to agree that dying for the fatherland is sweet and honorable when it involves venturing abroad instead of just defending one’s home.
Demonstrators in Tokyo in a vain attempt to stop Abe’s plans. It is noteworthy that as a rule, a great many senior citizens have taken part in these demonstrations. Usually the elderly are not known for thronging the streets to make political demands.
Photo credit: Barcroft
If only Abe showed similar enthusiasm in delivering his “third arrow” of economic reform. What he has delivered in terms of economic policy so far – a repeat of the same hoary Keynesian recipe, only on an even grander scale – actually fits well with his militaristic agenda. Militarism is an inherently statist endeavor. It is always connected with government grabbing more power for itself and expanding its role in all walks of life. As an aside to this, we never cease to be astonished that allegedly small government and free market supporting conservatives seem utterly blind to this fact.
As the Telegraph reports, most Japanese citizens vehemently oppose the initiative, but representatives of the Empire are declaring themselves satisfied, emitting Orwellian language in the process (“war is peace”):
Japan made a controversial change to its constitution on Friday night, loosening restrictions on its armed forces that have applied since the Second World War. The reform will allow Japan to use force to defend a foreign ally, not simply its own territory. As such, Japan’s formidable armed services will weigh more heavily in the Pacific balance of power.
America supports Mr Abe’s reform, which will help to tip the regional balance of military power against China. Philip Hammond, the Foreign Secretary, welcomed the passage of the law, saying: “We look forward to Japan taking an increasingly active part in peacekeeping operations and supporting international efforts to secure peace and prosperity.”
However, opinion polls suggest that most Japanese oppose the change. Shortly before the law was approved, Akira Gunji, from the opposition Democratic party, said: “We should not allow such a dangerous government to continue like this.”
Who cares about what the citizens want? It is yet another demonstration that modern-day democracies are in many ways really a kind of updated feudalism. If the power elites want something, it matters not one whit what the electorate wants.
By pushing through this change to Japan’s pacifist constitution, Japan’s nationalists have gotten their foot in the door, so to speak. Once a long-held principle is abandoned, further steps to alter the legal framework are usually not long in coming. There are many historical examples for this. Just think about the US income tax, introduced in 1912 at a “barely noticeable” single digit rate, which required the adoption of the 16th amendment to the constitution. We have little doubt that Abe and his friends would love to introduce even more radical changes and plan to employ Salami tactics to this end going forward.
We certainly don’t believe that the decision has made the world any “safer”. It has simply made war more likely. Just consider e.g. the pointless disputes between Japan and China over a few small rocks (we’re not sure if they really deserve to be called islands) in the South China Sea, which could easily become a future flashpoint leading to a military confrontation.
What was wrong with Japan’s formidable military having no other purpose than the defense of Japan?
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