MERKEL TO ABE: WHY NOT JOIN NATO?

MERKEL TO ABE: WHY NOT JOIN NATO?

Mr. J.S. shared this important story from Russia's Sputnik online magazine, and it's not only a stunner, but it positively compels some high octane speculation:

Merkel Offered Shinzo Abe NATO Membership, Reports Japanese Press

Now, you may have missed this story on the BBC, Deutsche Welle, or other outlets of the western lamestream media, but it absolutely is a stunner. Here's why:

German Chancellor Angela Merkel unexpectedly proposed that Japan join the NATO alliance during a dinner meeting with Japanese Prime Minister last March, The Yomiuri Shimbun newspaper reported on Saturday.

"Shinzo, why not join the North Atlantic Treaty Organization?" Merkel asked Abe.

"I can convince British Prime Minister Cameron and French President Hollande," she added.

The Yomiuri Shimbun reports that a surprised Abe replied, "Maybe in the future," in the knowledge that Japan is unlikely to join NATO.

"If we join now, our negotiations with Russia will stop," Abe explained, referring to talks between Japan and Russia regarding some of the Kuril Islands, a volcanic archipelago bordering the Sea of Okhotsk and the Pacific Ocean.

Notably, Mr. Abe indicates clearly his reason for rejecting Frau Bundeskanzler's invitation to join NATO, namely, that such a move would upset the delivate negotiations between Abe's Japan and Putin's Russia over outstanding territorial disputes left over from the Second World War. As the Sputnik article notes, the two powers have yet to sign any formal treaty ending the war between them, though obviously, they've long since quit shooting at each other. As I've pointed out in previous blogs, the negotiations are sweeping, since Japan has already indicated that it wants to be involved in building up Russia's infrastructure in Siberia. As I've argued previously, this is Mr. Putin's counterpose to Chinese investment in the region: by balancing the economic interests of the two Asian powerhouses in Siberia, Mr. Putin retains a measure of influence that he would not have if Russia's approach to Siberian development were reliant upon only one of them. That much seems clear. But then there is also the matter, as I have also pointed out, that Russia is willing to sponsor a permanent seat for Japan on the UN security council should the current negotiations prove to be successful.
Nor must we think this has all been a one-sided set of negotiations, for recall that only recently, Japan offered Russia access to its Japan Credit Bureau clearing system, a system in wide use through the western Pacific, a clearing system that is, in effect, the modern Japanese version of its wartime "Greater East Asia Co-Prosperity Sphere."
Mr. Abe, notably, simply set aside the NATO invitation, pushing it into the subjective future mood and tense.
The real question here is, why did Frau Merkel make the offer, and why did Mr. Abe refuse? Are there other reasons lurking between the surface?
I suspect that there are, and herewith the high octane speculation of the day. I have been arguing for some time that Mr. Abe's rearmament program for Japan is only partially about satisfying Washington's calls for Japan to shoulder a greater share of the mutual defense burdern in the Western Pacific. For Mr. Abe and his advisors, Japan has been playing Washington's tune since the war's end, and that tune has grown increasingly shrill, and dangerous, as the American empire seems to be under increasing scrutiny and pressure. In such circumstances, it ill-behooves Japan's long term interests to rely solely upon Washington to defend Japan, and a strong Japanese military would in the meantime offer a counterpoise to Washtingon, and perhaps even negotiating leverage with Washington.
For the power brokers of the west, however, looking at all these developments, it can only appear that Japan is beginning to embark on an increasingly independent course of action - an inevitability - and that, faced with growing Japanese power, they would seek to hem it in, and channel back into, and under, western influence. Enter NATO, for after all, it was Zbgnw Brzznsk, the voweless Pole, and national security guru, who told us in his The Grand Chessboard, that NATO was as much about hemming in German power as it was about containing the Soviet Union and the Warsaw Pact. And if it worked that way for Germany, it could conceivable work that way for Japan. Hence, Merkel's offer.
And Mr. Abe has said a polite "no thank you."
And that means, for now and the foreseeable future, we're going to see an increasingly independent Japan, and the cost of continued cooperation with that Asian powerhouse just went up...
See you on the flip side...

10 thoughts on “MERKEL TO ABE: WHY NOT JOIN NATO?”

  1. I’ve been to Japan on several occasions, and believe me they live like no other people on the planet. Their ways are so different to other countries and joining NATO doesn’t seem to go along with their “ways”.
    It’s difficult to describe, but joining NATO is in my opinion a red flag to a bull scenario.
    Merkel may have offered, but deep down she knew they would shut the door on the offer, so Japan won’t be joining any time soon if not ever.

  2. The Japanese have a very long cultural memory. Pertinent here is the samurai era, the ‘opening up’ of Japan by Perry, and the sudden Soviet overwhelming of the Japanese forces at the end of WWII. Japan is a very proud country, forced to kowtow to (the powers behind the curtain running) America since WWII. It has been a love-hate relationship, with Japan well-aware that two opportunistic communist giants were at her doorstep. And, Japan effectively having been disarmed…

    Now, two forces are at play: First, the WWII generation – with all their sacrifices and fears – have left the stage. Subsequent generations are increasingly out-of-touch with Real War. (Fortunately.) So, it is easier to play around with rearmament and wargames. This even leads to wanting true independence, meaning the Americans leave their territory.

    Second, for the same aging-out reasons above, few Japanese and Russians have faced each other in combat. Memory fades. So, Russia is not seen by newer generations as an imminent danger. Korea? A joke. But a resurgent China, with ballistic missiles and flattops? (And perhaps something to prove?) Hmmm. So, a cozy relationship with Russia (especially under a friendly Putin) makes all kinds of sense.

    I would expect an independent Japan in a few years – and possibly future Fukushimas (j stone version), in consequence…

  3. I would expect Frau Prof. Dr. Merkel to visibly appear to be doing the bidding of whatever or whoever controls Barack Obama-Soetoro whilst busily moving unseen with an entirely different agenda.

    The more I consider the obvious self-saboutage of the immigration nightmare she brought to birth the more I ponder whether or not her ulterior motive is self-annhilation on the public stage.

  4. My immediate thought was a flashback to WW11 and the fact that Russia suffered the most in lives lost, etc., and was the main reason fascism was stalled. Flash forward and the NWO fascism is being stalled once again by Russia.
    That Germany asks Japan to join NATO,is like the Axis powers of WW11 with the USA as the newly minted lead[flipped] –
    and where is the hand still guiding this orchestration?

  5. You forgot the eight hundred pound gorilla China and the piss off chimpanzee Korea their ancestors. Abe knows he better not think of joining NATO he does not want his nearby neighbors breathing down his neck. Japan has screwed them for centuries and they have very long memories. As we all know the CSA is a puppet and gangster with the real puppeteers hiding in the shadows behind the curtains.

  6. …Where to begin?

    It’s all such a clown show.

    In the end, there’s very little complexity to world affairs, only massive obfuscation. They’re just as banal as the banality of evil.

    Honestly, you have to laugh at how surreal this stuff is or you’ll go mad.

  7. Whatever the US has on Merkel, it must be a doozy.

    Now, tell us why BO is making a trip to Hiroshima — not that he’s going there to apologize, or anything, no, never that — after Abe rejected a personal plea for BO to go meet Big P in Sochi.

    Methinks there is more covert politicking going on here than even high-octane speculation captures.

    1. I gather that the manner of her offering this invitation was not in a diplomatically appropriate manner as far as some Japanese see it. The manner of the invitation would be meaningless to an USAmerican I suspect, but Germans understand this sort of thing far better as a rule. It strikes me she was clearly conveying something to Shinzo Abe far more than the plain meaning of her reported invitation.

  8. Anyone with two cents of brain left creeps out of under the thumb of imperial USA. That is if they can evade the coercion that the USA or whom or whatever runs the USA, exerts.

    Every time you see a European smuck try and deviate from USA policy a few days later he/she returns to the fold.

    It must be painful to even ask the Japanese joining NATO by any politician or Frau Bundeskanzier is dementing rapidly and with what she showed of late could also be a possibility.

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