BY THE WAY, IN CASE YOU MISSED IT, JAPAN MAY CHANGE ITS CONSTITUTIONMay 12, 2013
The American satirist, Tom Lehrer, was always quick to point out the goofiness of post-World War Two America's domestic and foreign policy, with such musical classics as Wernher von Braun and The MLF Lullaby(for those who can remember, the MLF or "multi-lateral-force" was a scheme of Mad Henry Kissinger[surely a relative of Crazy Ludwig Wittelsbach II] to give nuclear weapons to Germany[which probably really didn't need them anyway, but that's another story]):
Well, all satire and chuckles aside, one wonders what Lehrer would have done with this story, yet another indicator of "successful" postwar social engineering of a former enemy-now-ally:
Now, I strongly suspect that this is geopolitical reality coming home to roost. Let's consider the American perspective for a moment. As other commentators have noted, America's long term geopolitical and military p0sture is being altered to cope with the growing reality of Chinese economic, political, and military power in the Pacific. The trouble is, America's economy and military is already overstretched. We need powerful allies in the region, which leaves (gulp) India, and (gulp), Japan. So, from the American point of view, a more muscular Japanese military, one commensurate with its economic power, would be in order. Except as I indicated in the wake of the Fukushima disaster, it appeared that the then Japanese government was trying to mend fences with China, and was making definite noises to the USA that a scaled back American military presence was in order. Then came then US Defense Secretary Robert Gates' threat (and it was little more than that), and then the earthquake and tsunami... and the return of the "pro-America" Liberal Democrats into power in Japan.
... but it may not be the same picture any more. In a world increasingly restive about western financial institutions and the whole western financial system, increasingly wary of American unilateralism and willingness to sponsor all manner of covert activity, and even more wary of western and American intentions, the Japanese have a hard choice: can they really rely, in the long term, on American willingness to defend Japan? or for that matter, even to deal with North Korea? And in the face of growing Chinese economic and military power?
I rather suspect that the answers to those questions, at least for many Japanese, is no, though they would be far too polite ever to voice such concerns too loudly or publicly. This development is one to watch closely folks. If indeed Japan is being pushed into these steps by quiet behind-the-scenes American pressure, then it is a game we've seen before: British admirals to train Japanese ones, British technology to build Japanese battleships, German generals to train the Imperial Army... Krupp, Vickers, Mitsubishi, Port Arthur, Tsushima.... The real goal here, in other words, is an alteration to Article 9, and an open increase of Japanese military power.
Watch these developments, and the Russian, Chinese, Indonesian responses, carefully.
See you on the flip side.