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Since the end of the Cold War in 1991, the United States has repeatedly pressured Japan to revise article nine of its Constitution (renouncing the use of force except as a matter of self-defense) and become what American officials call a "normal nation." For example, on August 13, 2004, Secretary of State Colin Powell stated baldly in Tokyo that if Japan ever hoped to become a permanent member of the U.N. Security Council it would first have to get rid of its pacifist Constitution. Japan's claim to a Security Council seat is based on the fact that, although its share of global GDP is only 14%, it pays 20% of the total U.N. budget. Powell's remark was blatant interference in Japan's internal affairs, but it merely echoed many messages delivered by former Deputy Secretary of State Richard Armitage, the leader of a reactionary clique in Washington that has worked for years to remilitarize Japan and so enlarge a major new market for American arms. Its members include Torkel Patterson, Robin Sakoda, David Asher, and James Kelly at State; Michael Green on the National Security Council's staff; and numerous uniformed military officers at the Pentagon and at the headquarters of the Pacific Command at Pearl Harbor, Hawaii. ...
Japan's remilitarization worries a segment of the Japanese public and is opposed throughout East Asia by all the nations Japan victimized during World War II, including China, both Koreas, and even Australia. As a result, the Japanese government has launched a stealth program of incremental rearmament. Since 1992, it has enacted 21 major pieces of security-related legislation, 9 in 2004 alone. These began with the International Peace Cooperation Law of 1992, which for the first time authorized Japan to send troops to participate in U.N. peacekeeping operations.
Rest is good, read.
:: posted by buermann @ 2005-03-15 11:53:26 CST |