By Theodore Shoebat
Shinzo, the Prime Minister of Japan, just said that the days of dialogue with North Korea are over. Translation? Japan wants war. And its not just about North Korea, its about using the situation of North Korea as a pretext for reviving Japanese militarism. According to one report:
Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe on Wednesday (Sept 20) declared the time for dialogue with North Korea is over and rallied behind a US warning that “all options” are on the table.
Addressing the UN General Assembly, Abe said “there is not much time left” to take action on North Korea which in recent weeks has detonated another nuclear bomb and fired a series of missiles over or near Japan.
A day after US President Donald Trump threatened to “totally destroy” North Korea if it attacks, Abe said: “We consistently support the stance of the United States: that ‘all options are on the table.'”
Abe said that the world has already tried exhaustively to reach a negotiated settlement with North Korea, starting with the US-backed 1994 Agreed Framework which collapsed a decade later.
“Again and again, attempts to resolve issues through dialogue have all come to naught. In what hope of success are we now repeating the very same failure a third time?” he said.
“What is needed to do that is not dialogue, but pressure,” he said.
He voiced alarm at North Korea’s military progress, which he said had brought the regime to the threshold of mastering hydrogen bombs and intercontinental ballistic missiles, which would be able to strike the United States.
Abe demanded the strict implementation of UN sanctions on Kim Jong-Un’s regime, the latest round of which includes a ban on the country’s textile exports and a freeze on work permits to North Korean guest workers.
But years of sanctions have had limited effects on North Korea, which follows a “juche” ideology of self-reliance and counts on neighbouring China as its economic lifeline.
China – which has grown frustrated by Kim’s actions but also fears the consequences of his regime’s collapse – has repeatedly urged dialogue, with Foreign Minister Wang Yi on Tuesday urging an end to the “current deepening vicious cycle.”
Swedish Prime Minister Stefan Lofven, responding to Trump’s bellicose speech, called for dialogue in tandem with implementation of sanctions.
“There is no military solution because that would be a disaster, not only for North Korea but for South Korea, the whole peninsula, Japan,” Lofven told reporters.
But Abe warned that global credibility was on the line, saying that only North Korea has been “allowed such self-indulgence” in its defiance of the Security Council.
“North Korea is attempting to dismiss with a smirk the efforts towards disarmament we have assiduously undertaken over the years,” Abe said.
Abe, Japan’s longest-serving post-World War II prime minister, rose to political prominence on his calls for a tough line on North Korea over its past abductions of Japanese civilians.
He has also pressed for a shedding of defense taboos in Japan, whose US-imposed constitution forbids the country from ever again waging war.
Japan using the tensions with North Korea for militarism is the subject of my last video which you can watch here:
I warned on the US accelerating Japanese militarism last year, before Trump won the victory. This is what I wrote:
On account of fears about Russia, China and North Korea, the Americans will break the chains imposed on Japan and thus enable them to revive their military strength. This is reflected in recent statements by Donald Trump in regards to fears about North Korea. Donald Trump, who is very likely to be the next president of the United States, has suggested that Japan be allowed to have nuclear weapons in order to keep the North Koreans in check. The United States, according to an agreement made with Japan, is suppose to be the aid of Japan in the case of any military conflict that would put the Japanese in danger. Donald Trump does not want to follow the initial plan, but rather it appears that he will allow Japan to fight out any conflicts on its own. Donald Trump stated:
“Unfortunately, we have a nuclear world now… Would I rather have North Korea have [nuclear weapons] with Japan sitting there having them also? You may very well be better off if that’s the case. … If they’re attacked… we have to come totally to their defense. And that is a — that’s a real problem.”
He also stated: “Here’s the thing with Japan… They have to pay us or we have to let them protect themselves.”
Both of these statements are quite significant. For one, this plan of isolationism is exactly what the Japanese want, and have wanted for decades. If Trump wins (and it looks like that he will), and his plan for Asia is put forth, it will reset Asia to an environment very much paralleled to how it was before erupting into the Second World War.
Trump’s plan of having Japan no longer dependent on the US for military support, will give Japan the excuse it needs to rearm and to restrengthen its former martial strength, and to further revive the imperial religion that it once maintained and that enflamed its aggressions towards the rest of East Asia. Secondly, Trump’s plan to push Japan to purchase American vehicles and to pay the US would further be used by the Japanese to prove American hostilities and to justify aggression against the United States.
Trump’s policy for East Asia would break the barriers that are keeping, by a hair, the former conflicts of the recent past from resuming, the conflicts that lie between Japan, its Asian neighbors, Russia and the United States. For over seventy years, US policy on Japan has worked as a mask, covering up the immense hatred that exists between Japan and its Asian neighbors, specifically China and the Koreas. But with the policies that the US is undertaking, and will be enacting, in regards to Japan, that mask is soon to be removed.
A senior official in the government of Shinzo Abe, the Japanese prime minister, said in regards to Trump’s words: “If what he says actually comes to pass, it’s going to be transforming for Japan. It would be a critical blow.” It truly would be transforming, not because it has to be transforming, but because Japan will use such a policy as a justification for violent and fanatical nationalism.
Japan has been looking for any excuse to make itself more and more militarily independent from the USA. After ISIS beheaded the two Japanese hostages, Haruna Yukawa and Kenji Goto, Japan’s elites rushed to make the call for military autonomy. Kunihiko Miyake, an adviser for Shinzo Abe, said in an interview:
“This is 9/11 for Japan … It is time for Japan to stop daydreaming that its good will and noble intentions would be enough to shield it from the dangerous world out there. Americans have faced this harsh reality, the French have faced it, and now we are, too.”
It was in October of 1958 when Nobusuke Kishe told American television viewers that the time had come for Japan to reject and abandon the pacifist, war-renouncing Article 9 of its constitution. This was the main objective of Kishe, and now Abe, his grandson, sees it has his duty to complete the mission. In the same interview, Kishe admitted that it would take a long time before the Japanese constitution is changed. Now it seems that that time is about to come. Takashi Ito, a Tokyo University emeritus history professor and a prominent expert on Nabosuke Kishi, said in regards to the similarities between Abe and Kishe:
“A lot of what they say is the same. They both want constitutional revision and they both want rearmament of Japan”
Kishe was a convicted war criminal whose “crimes pile up to the heavens; he is truly evil,” to use the words of Wang Qingxiang, a researcher of social science at the Jilin Academy of Social Sciences, and one of China’s most prolific writers on Japan’s occupation of Manchuria. Abe continues to strive to emulate his grandfather, both in his policies, and quite prospectively, his imperialism and brutality.
In 2007, Abe praised his grandfather for pressing “forward no matter how many people were opposed, because his was the only path.” Hence Mr. Abe’s slogan: “This is the only path.” Hiroshige Seko, deputy chief cabinet secretary and a close aide to Mr. Abe, explained these words as such:
“It is the expression of the prime minister’s resolve that he will push ahead on the path that he believes in, not just on economic recovery but also in areas like changing national security policy and education reform …I think the prime minister wants to be a leader like that in the end“
Shinzo Abe uses very clever argumentation to justify his agenda of remilitarizing Japan and for military autonomy. He will use the threat of Islamic terrorism, China and North Korea, as the reason as to why the US should give Japan military independence. His grandfather, Kishe, likewise used very similar argumentation to give credence to his objective. In one statement Kishe said that if Japan were to become a “respectable member (of) the community of nations it would first have to revise its constitution and rearm: If Japan is alone in renouncing war … she will not be able to prevent others from invading her land. If, on the other hand, Japan could defend herself, there would be no further need of keeping United States garrison forces in Japan. … Japan should be strong enough to defend herself.”
Kishe, like the rest of the post-war elites of Japan, considered the US drafted constitution to be simply a tool of American policy, and that the Allied occupation was merely a means by which to neutralize Japanese patriotism. One must say that such an observation is accurate: the constitution and the occupation of Japan were established and conducted to keep Japan in check. But now, current Western policy is enabling Japan to return to its old ways. This is why it is essential to study the men who ruled and influenced Japan before, during and after the Second World War, and observe how they ideologically and politically parallel each other.
Just like his grandfather Kishe, Shinzo Abe sees the constitution as something of a fetter that needs to be broken; that it was created by the US for the purpose of emasculating the Japanese people. In the year 2000, while he was just a second-term Lower House member of parliament, Abe stated:
“It is clear to everyone that the Constitution was drawn up under significant compulsion… I think this has had bad effects on the minds of Japanese people …. It is crucially important for us to make a new Constitution by ourselves.”
Shinzo Abe, in striving to accomplish his grandfather’s mission, removed Japan’s self-imposed ban on collective self-defense in July of 2014. Now what is happening in Japan is Japanese politicians in the Diet making national security bills to give this measure substance. You might think, ‘Oh, its just self-defense, there is nothing wrong with that.’ But to think in this way ignores the nature of evil. Evil never immediately reveals itself completely, but always works in increments. The move to allow Japan collective self-defense will soon be given additions, more freedoms and enabling. One day they will have collective self-defense, and soon it’ll be the right to make preemptive strikes, and ultimately we will see an imperialistic Japan. We will all eventually realize that Japan never changed its true self, but rather covered it; our eyes will be opened to a revived imperialistic nation with its imperial religion, and only then will most of the world realize the evils of Zen Buddhism.
The incrementalist strategy of Japan was mentioned in one Japanese report, in which it was stated:
“Abe seems to believe that the reinterpretation [of the Constitution], which only allows the limited use of collective self-defense, is not enough. Looking ahead, he probably envisions a constitutional amendment to enable the country to conduct collective self-defense without restraint.”
From one policy Japan will move to a subsequent policy more dangerous. The true evil aspirations and intentions of Japan have been hidden for quite some time, by the US government and Japanese elites. Even in a small amount of time after WW2, the Japanese made it clear to the Americans that they desired to have nuclear weapons.
Takashi Shinobu, a professor at Nihon University, unearthed documents at the U.S. National Archives in Washington, The documents reveal that on September 9th, 1958, Douglas MacArthur II told state and defense department officials that Nobusuke Kishe “believed it was essential that Japan have (a) nuclear” arsenal, and that the Japanese constitution “did not prohibit Japan from having any kind of weapons,” revealing a sinister desire by the Japanese to obtain nuclear weapons. MacArthur was not disturbed at all by this, but rather he said that Tokyo’s recognition of “the desirability of defensive nuclear weapons is extremely interesting and encouraging.” In a telegraph from June 20th, 1958, MacArthur informed the U.S. Secretary of State, John Foster Dulles, that the Japanese Vice Foreign Minister, Hisanari Yamada, that Foreign Ministry officials discussed whether or not Japan should examine and agree on a decision on obtaining nuclear weapons.
The reason why the US was not trepidatious over Japan obtaining nuclear weapons was because the Americans believed that a nuclear Japan could deter Russia through the possession of nukes. Japanese ministry officials even talked about the utilization of nuclear warheads designed to fire from the ground to the air, in order to deter the Russians from entering Japanese airspace. In light of this, Yamada told MacArthur that the ministry officials believed that it did “not make too much sense for Japan not to have modern defensive weapons — including nuclear weapons — when potential aggressors were armed with (such) weapons.” President Eisenhower was relatively tolerant about Japan owning nuclear weapons, and there wasn’t any international laws prohibiting Japan from doing so.
What made the Japanese hesitant about going through with the nuclear plan was the remembrance of what happened to Hiroshima and Nagasaki. In the same telegram, MacArthur stated that Yamada told him that the atomic bombings of the two cities “raised obvious and serious emotional and psychological problems in terms of Japanese public opinion, and perhaps opinion had not evolved to point where there could be any change in present Japanese policy.” MacArthur was not opposed to Japan having nuclear weapons in its possession, but he did suggest in a telegram addressed to secretary of state John Foster Dulles, that the biggest hinderance to this reality was public opinion in Japan.
Nonetheless, what MacArthur revealed indicates a parallel between the Japan of then and the Japan of now. Kishe used the argument of self-defense against Russia to justify the acquiring of nuclear weapons, and today Japan is using the “threat” of North Korea and China as a pretext for developing nuclear weapons. From the beginning of this year the US has been exhorting South Korea to place a Terminal High Altitude Area Defense system to defend against a possible nuclear attack from North Korea, but China strongly objected to this proposal, arguing that such an installation would be a threat to its national sovereignty.
In response, on June of this year, vice-president Biden, in a conversation with Chinese president, Xi Jingping, said that Japan “could tomorrow” go nuclear in order to fight against North Korea. Biden’s recounting of the conversation in an interview goes as follows:
“When I tell President Xi, you have to understand we got a guy up there in North Korea who is talking about building weapons that can strike, nuclear weapons strike the United States and not only Hawaii and Alaska, but… the mainland of the United States… And I say, so we’re going to move up our defense system, and he says no, no, no, wait a minute, my military thinks you’re going to try to circle us. …What would you do? Do you think we should stand back? …What happens if we don’t work out something together on North Korea? What happens if Japan, who could tomorrow, could go nuclear tomorrow?”
Japan has a very efficient and proficient ability and means to create nuclear weapons. This is true, regardless of Japan being currently under the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty which was agreed to by Prime Minister Eisaku Sato, another maternal grandfather of the current prime minister of Japan, Shinzo Abe. Sato, in the leading up to the agreement, outlined certain principles under which Japan could not develop or house nuclear weapons. The principles, properly known as the Three Non-Nuclear Principles, were explained by Sato in his 1974 Noble Lecture in which he said:
“It has often been pointed out that, with the rise in the level of economic activity and the great strides made in science and technology, Japan has the capacity to produce nuclear arms. However, it is, in spite of Japan’s potential, or precisely for that reason, that our people have, on their own initiative, made the firm choice not to be armed with nuclear weapons. This is also the firm policy of the Japanese Government. I wish to take this opportunity to declare this again unequivocally, and beg that my distinguished audience will bear this fact in mind. …
I established three non-nuclear principles as a policy of the Japanese Government after deep reflection on the course Japan should take as a country which will not possess nuclear arms. This policy states that we shall not manufacture nuclear weapons, that we shall not possess them and that we shall not bring them into our country. This was later reaffirmed by a resolution of our Diet. I have no doubt that this policy will be pursued by all future governments.”
Well, it turns out that not all future governments would rid itself of nuclear weapons or nuclear abilities. Japan itself, while demanding that other nations give up nuclear weapons, did not want to throw away its means to becoming a nuclear nation, and nor does it plan to be absent of nuclear weapons. As I wrote last year, Japan has enough plutonium to build 50 nukes and possesses 44.3 tons of plutonium, 9.3 tons of which are kept within the country, while 35 tons are kept abroad in countries like the United Kingdom and France.
This is enough plutonium to create more than 5000 nuclear bombs. According to Yin Xiaoliang, a researcher with the Institute of Japan Studies at Nankai University, “This even exceeds the 38 tons of weapons-grade plutonium the US previously claimed to hold.” Not only this, but Japan is capable of make a nuclear weapon in six months. The United States understands this reality, with one US official stating that the six-month estimate “was not out of the ballpark”. And, regardless of the polite anti-nuclear speech of Eisaku Sato in 1974, Japan, in April of 2013, refused to sign a joint-statement on the non-proliferation of nuclear weapons, in Geneva and Switzerland.
The United States knows of Japan’s nuclear abilities and its itchy desires to have nuclear weapons, that is why Biden warned China about how Japan “could tomorrow” go nuclear if it hinders South Korea from defending against North Korea. The cumulous thought of a peaceful Japan is now dissipating to the reality of the eastern mind: never forget what your enemies have done to you, and always get back at them, even if it takes a millennium to do it. Thus is the eastern mentality, and such is the mentality of Japan, no matter how much people try to cover it with modern smiles and suits. As pagan Japanese nationalist, Yukio Mishima, said, “After the war, our brutal side was completely hidden, but I believe it is just hidden”
The fact that Japan agreed to not possessing nuclear weapons does not prove a Japan that has converted from its ways. A major reason why Eisaku Sato conceded to the non-proliferation of nuclear weapons was because he wanted repossession of Okinawa and the rest of the Ryukyu Islands and to take them away from US occupation.
It is said that Sato was forced by the Americans to declare that Japan would never produce, possess or permit the introduction of nuclear weapons. Japan capitulated simply because it wanted Okinawa back. It is also said that between 1968 and 1970 a vicious debate was raging amongst Japanese bureaucrats on whether or not Japan should own nuclear weapons, since at that point China owned nuclear weapons. Japan never wanted to make an emphatic and absolute agreement that it would never produce or use nuclear weapons. In fact, when the Japanese signed the Non-Proliferation Treaty in 1970, it attached to its signature that “Each Party[…] have the right to withdraw from the Treaty if it decides that extraordinary events […] have jeopardized the supreme interests of its country.”
In our own time, Japan is getting close to developing nuclear weapons under the connivance of the Western eye, and it is nearing its objective through crafty diplomacy. Japan is not under the same scrutiny as Turkey or other Islamic powers. The sanguinary bent of the Muslims is made conspicuous by their decapitations, perversities and multitude of inhumanities. But with the Japanese it is different; they abide by guidelines enforced upon them by the American victors, while implicitly suggesting violent aspirations under the guise of self-defense. But in their militaristic implications, is found an explicit conspiracy to revive imperial rule and brutality all behind the mask of appearing pursuant. This plan has not been being developed in immediate recent times, but has been being carried out incrementally, step by step, calculatedly done until trust is gained and the one who gives the trust is open to be warred against. In 1969, while Japan was promoting the peaceful use of nuclear energy, it was already discussing the conversion of nuclear technology into nuclear weapons.
Sato was the first Japanese prime minister to visit Okinawa after the war. When he did arrive in the island of Okinawa in 1965, he was scheduled to give several speeches. Before he said his speeches, the United States ordered that they be edited so that they may stress on American actions done in Okinawa for the purpose of peace and stability in the region. Sato was to give two speeches upon his arrival at the Naha airport and another speech at a local airport.
The US wanted him to revise all of his speeches to emphasize American importance, and Sato agreed to change the theatre speech but refused to amend the first speeches that he was to say upon his coming to the island. The US complained that his written speech was “disparaging” to the American administration in Okinawa, and one American diplomat even said that his speech could affect the path to US-Japanese cooperation in Okinawa. The Americans inserted into the text of his speech the words, “The Ryukyu Islands are playing a very important role for peace and security of the Far East,” and also, “Japan allied with the United States by the Mutual Cooperation and Security Treaty . . . has cooperative relations with her as a partner.”
The Americans desired for more friendlier words toward the US that would emphasize on how the United States played a role with Japan towards the objective of peace. But Sato did not want this. While he did read the added words just quoted, Sato, defying the Americans, said in the speech words that were not in the original text and that were not agreed to be added into it: “Until Okinawa is returned, Japan will not have completely emerged from her postwar period.”
According to Masaaki Gabe, a professor at the University of the Ryukyus, “Mr. Sato felt the need to raise his own political performance toward the reversion (of Okinawa to Japan)”, and thus he defied the US and made it known that Japan wanted those islands back into its hands. In his 1974 Nobel lecture, Sato elucidated and elaborated more at to what he meant by his words, stating that he did not want the Japanese people living in Okinawa to be under a foreign power, and that until the islands were returned back to Japan, peace in the Far East would not be promised. It was as though he was elusively threatening the United States. Here are his words from his Nobel lecture:
“It was a clearly anomalous situation for one million Japanese people to be still under foreign domination more than twenty years after the termination of hostilities. The desire to see Okinawa returned to Japan developed into a broad national consensus among our people.
By that time, Okinawa had come to occupy a key strategic position in Asia in the framework of the Cold War. Nevertheless I declared soon after my assumption of office as Prime Minister my conviction that: “Until Okinawa is returned, Japan will not have completely emerged from her post-war period”. For I had came to the conviction that to leave Okinawa in such an anomalous state would create greater tension in Asia because of the very important position of this group of islands and that to realize the reversion of Okinawa would contribute to a stable peace in the Western Pacific.”
The Japanese did not want to be under American occupation, or as Sato called it, “foreign domination,” and thus they desired to pursue their objective of an independent Japan for the cause of national pride. This national pride of the Japanese will be the death of many, as it was the death of millions just over seventy years ago. Shinzo Abe, wanting to advance this fanatical and bloodthirsty nationalism to reign supreme, is bent on making “a Japan […] bolstered by military prowess and the international respect he sees as his nation’s due.”
According to political analysts, the Americans wanted Sato to say the words that they added in, in order to legitimize the US bases placed in Okinawa during the occupation. When the US gave over Okinawa to Japanese sovereignty in 1972, it reduced the number of its bases by 19 percent, but the Japanese wanted the bases reduced by 30 percent, a demand the US refused to concede to. Repossessing Okinawa was something that the Japanese were fixated upon. Every post-war Japanese prime minister made efforts to retake Okinawa, until Sato completed the mission. Gaining back Okinawa and the rest of the Ryukyu islands was the objective and Japan was willing to say anything to regain them, and that is why they stated and agreed that they would not produce or possess nuclear weapons.
If Japan was truly intent on being a peaceful nation at this time, then why would they need Okinawa, an island whose people they brutally slaughtered and tormented when they invaded and occupied it? Another question that comes to mind is, why would the United States agree to return Okinawa and the other islands solely under the stipulation that they would not have any nuclear weapons?
In 1969, president Nixon and Sato agreed that Okinawa would be returned to Japan only under the “particular sentiment of the Japanese people against nuclear weapons and the police of the Japanese Government reflecting this sentiment” (See Woodall, Growing Democracy in Japan). We must ask ourselves as to why the return of Okinawa to Japanese hands was done only if Japan agreed to not produce or have nuclear weapons. Its obvious the United States knew and understood that a nuclear Japan would be a major threat, and thus the Americans comprehended that the Japanese were still indeed a dangerous and evil country that needed to be reined in.
Prime Minister Sato, in his Noble lecture of 1974, pushed for all nations, specifically the United States and Russia, to get rid of its nuclear weapons:
“It is the earnest hope of our people that the world may see the day when all nuclear weapons are abolished. If I may, however, be allowed to put this in more realistic, if more modest, terms, the nuclear Powers, with the United States and the USSR taking the lead, should, at least, cease their quantitative and qualitative nuclear arms race, and sincerely explore effective and practical means for the gradual reduction and international control of nuclear arms.”
Why did Sato want the US to get rid of its nuclear weapons? I believe that Japan wanted, and still wants, the United States to empty out its nuclear arsenal because it is still furious about what happened at the bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, and thus it wants the US to disarm itself so that it can become an easy target, and furthermore, it wants to strike back at the US and resume from where it was stopped in its imperial conquests and genocides in which the Japanese slaughtered millions of its Asian neighbors.
While Sato wanted the US to get rid of its nuclear weapons, he himself wanted Japan to possess nuclear weapons. Sato discussed this objective in the late 1960s, and spoke of Japan possessing nuclear weapons in a “highly secret” way. This idea that Sato was a man of peace plays only well to the public, while the reality shows that he was really forced to concede to this policy, just as Shinzo Abe, his grandson, will say that he is a man of peace while at the same time pushing for militaristic revival.
Lets not forget, that it was Nobusuke Kishi, Shinzo Abe’s grandfather, who signed the declaration of war against the United States in the Second World War. Now his grandson is in power and people want us to think that Japan is a friendly nation. The Japanese elites are a very reticent people; they will hide their true feelings and thoughts, going by the rules until they gain one’s trust, and at that point, they will strike. Shinzo Abe desires to continue his grandfather’s objective of a Japanese universal empire. This is why Shinzo Abe recently stated that the Japanese constitution does not prohibit Japan from having nuclear weapons.
In a report published by the Japanese publication, Asahi Shimbun, it states:
“The Abe Cabinet has decided that war-renouncing Article 9 of the Constitution does not necessarily ban Japan from possessing and using nuclear weapons.”
In a statement issued by the Abe Cabinet it says:
“Even if it involves nuclear weapons, the Constitution does not necessarily ban the possession of them as long as they are restricted to such a minimum necessary level”.
Yusuke Yokobatake, director-general of the Cabinet Legislation Bureau, in an address made at the Upper House Budget Committee on March 18, said that he does not believe that the Japanese constitution prohibits the use of any nuclear weapon. “We don’t think that the use of all kinds of nuclear weapons is prohibited under the Constitution,” he said.
In 1955, Japan signed the Agreement for Cooperation between the Government of Japan Concerning Peaceful Uses Of Nuclear Energy. This agreement allowed for Japan to own enriched uranium, but only for the peaceful purpose of nuclear energy. By 2018, Japan will be given the chance to terminate its agreement, and I believe that it is likely that Japan will do so, given the country’s urge to have nuclear weapons.
We keep talking about how Japan has a right to be afraid of China, when the conversation should be shifted: China has a right to fear Japan. Was it not Japan who invaded China and slaughtered millions of Chinese people just over seventy years ago? And it is this very same Japan that is making all sorts of aggressive and ideological gestures towards China. Japan owns enough tons of plutonium to produce thousands of nukes, and this reality is making China very concerned about Japan. One Chinese report states:
“Japan’s massive nuclear material stockpiles, enough to produce thousands of nuclear bombs, pose a threat to the world given the growing danger of nuclear terrorism. … Also alarming than the ecological and environmental consequences is Japan’s rightist tendency. For example, Yusuke Yokobatake, director-general of the Japanese Cabinet Legislation Bureau, allegedly said that Japan’s Constitution does not necessarily ban the use of nuclear weapons. Such remarks have no doubt deepened the world’s skepticism over the stance of Japan, which had vowed not to produce, possess or stockpile nuclear weapons. Its nuclear ambition would add uncertainty and pose a huge threat to the already tense situation in Northeast Asia. As its nuclear material stockpiles would do good to none, it is advisable that Japan, which clearly understands the horrible consequences of nuclear proliferation, cut its storage as soon as possible.”
The Japanese wanted nuclear weapons during the Second World War, and the desire continued on at the end of the war to now. A declassified August 1957 document from the U.S. State Department report revealed:
“Contrary to the impression conveyed by the overwhelming popular sentiment in Japan against any association with nuclear weapons, there is mounting evidence that the conservative government in Tokyo secretly contemplates the eventual manufacture of such weapons, unless international agreements intervene,”.
This was said back in 1957, just two years after it agreed to only use nuclear material for energy utilization. And to this day the Japanese are adamant about remilitarizing their country. In the 1970s, the same decade in which the former prime minister, Eisaku Sato, promised that Japan would never have nuclear weapons, Japan inquired seriously on how to reprocess spent conventional fuel, which could, prospectively, be used as materials for weapons. In February of 1977, the US vice president, Walter Mondale, had a meeting with the Japanese prime minister, Takeo Fukuda, on a plan to build a reprocessing plant in Japan. In a declassified memorandum, the US revealed its true consternation over Japan going nuclear. It stated that
“Reprocessing facilities which could produce weapons-grade material are simply bomb factories”
The nuclear waste reprocessing center, located in Rokkasho, Aomori Prefecture, has still not been used yet. But, Japan is already planning on commencing operations, and this very Rokkasho plant could reprocess enough spent reactor fuel to make as many as 1,000 nuclear bombs a year. Japan claims that the plutonium in the Rokkasho plant will only be used for electricity. But Japan already has tons of plutonium and does not use them for electricity. Once the plant goes into operation, it will set alarms in both China and the Koreas, and nuclear production will significantly increase due to this. Two of Japan’s nuclear reactors at the Sendai nuclear plant are already in operation. As I wrote in December of 2014, Shinzo Abe did away with Japan’s sixty year long policy that it will never use its nuclear plants and it has begun restarting them.
The desire that Japan has to make nuclear weapons is evidenced by the fact that the Japanese have had the capabilities to make nuclear weapons since the 1980s when they launched a plutonium breeder reactor and a uranium enrichment plant. One Japanese government official, who is significantly involved in Japan’s nuclear energy program, stated: “Japan already has the technical capability, and has had it since the 1980s,” and that once Japan obtained more than five to ten kilograms of plutonium, the amount required to produce one nuclear weapon, it had “already gone over the threshold,” and had a nuclear deterrent.
Japan’s ownership of nuclear energy was allowed and enabled by the United States. In 1955 Japan and the United States signed the atomic energy agreement, at which point the US agreed to lend to Japan six kilograms of uranium-235, a nuclear material. After this, in 1956, Japan established the Japan Atomic Energy Research Institute in Tokai, to be a place to house the uranium given by the US. In the late 60s to the mid-70s, Japan Nuclear Fuel Limited began building a uranium plant in Ningyo-Toge, and the United States then allowed Japan to put the plant in full operation in 1977. The plant was then launched in 1982. Now Japan owns heavy supplies of both uranium and plutonium.
While Japan possesses nine tons of plutonium in its own country, and thirty five tones more in France and the UK, it also has 1.2 tons of enriched uranium. Many experts say that, on account of a nuclear-fuel reprocessing program that produces enriched uranium and plutonium, Japan can create nuclear weapons in the form of government-subsidized commercial rockets, which are said to be technically no different from ballistic missiles. According to physicist Richard Garwin, in a 1998 paper written for the Council of Foreign Relations, all that Japan needs to make one thousand nuclear weapons is 10 tons of civilian-grade plutonium. In Japan, currently there are about three thousand tons of used nuclear fuel stored up in the Rokkasho plant. In the whole country of Japan alone, there are about seventeen thousand metric tons of used nuclear fuel.
On June 2010, the Japanese conducted the Hayabusa government test in which they sent a satellite into space to land upon an asteroid. The test was a success and it brought the Japanese people to much international pride, with three motion pictures being done about the Hayabusa program. While people were discussing it as a great accomplishment for Japanese technological advancement, what was going on behind the scenes was something very sinister. The technology used for the project was the same type needed to guide ballistic missiles. It was done purposefully to show that Japan had the capabilities to build and use ballistic missiles. “That’s the behind-the-scenes reason Japan decided to develop Hayabusa,” says Toshiyuki Shikata, a former lieutenant general in Japan’s military and currently a Teikyo University professor and Tokyo Metropolitan Government adviser. “It sent a quiet message that Japan’s ballistic missile capability is credible.”
The politicians and elites in Japan, like Shinzo Abe and his ilk, just love the idea of Japan having nuclear weapons. “The hawks love nuclear weapons, so they like the nuclear power program as the best they can do,” said Jeffrey Lewis, director of the East Asia Non-Proliferation Program at the Monterey Institute of International Studies in California. “They don’t want to give up the idea they have, to use it as a deterrent.”
Why do the Japanese want nuclear weapons, I thought they were a nation of peace? In what way do they want to use the nukes to “defend” themselves? As one Chinese source said, if a country “hoards far more nuclear materials than it needs, including a massive amount of weapons grade plutonium, the world has good reason to ask why.” Or as one Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson said:
“Has Japan kept an excessive amount of sensitive nuclear material that is beyond its actual needs? Does one need so much sensitive nuclear material for peaceful use? Should one keep excessive weapons-grade nuclear material? … More importantly, does Japan have higher-enriched and weapons-grade uranium, and how much does it have? What are those used for? How can Japan ensure a balance between the demand and supply of nuclear materials? These are the real concerns and questions of the international community.”
For the last past four or five years, Chinese defense white papers have referred to Japan’s plutonium stockpiles as a threat. Yet the Americans pay no attention to the warnings of China, a nation that allied with the US to fight the Japanese imperial forces in the Second World War. The tensions between China and Japan, I believe, will implode into war. The Koreans will join the Chinese in fighting the Japanese. There is no one that the North Koreans hate more than the Japanese, and I believe that it is possible that what will unite North and South Korea will be a struggle against the Japanese. The North Koreans have their Nagong missile system, which is in range to fire at any place in Japan. Leonard Spector, deputy director of the Center for Non-Proliferation Studies in Monterey, said that “Nodong is a Japan weapon”. Japan is using North Korea’s ballistic missile system to justify its nuclear capabilities against China. Political scientist, Kenneth Neal Waltz, states:
“The threat of ballistic missile attacks by North Korea serves as an excuse, albeit a flimsy one, to build defenses that the administration hopes will be useful against China.”
The Americans may think that war in the Far-East will not transpire, but the Chinese certainly do. In October of 2014, state-ran media in China declared that “a war looms following Japan’s radical provocation,” after Japan threatened to shoot down Chinese drones.
In 2011, Shigeru Ishiba, a former defense minister, said in an interview with Sapio, a reactionary magazine:
“I don’t think Japan needs to possess nuclear weapons, but it’s important to maintain our commercial reactors because it would allow us to produce a nuclear warhead in a short amount of time”
Ishiba’s words did not spark protest from the Japanese media, but rather, it pushed people to express further support for nuclear utilization. The Yomiuri, the newspaper in Japan said to have the highest circulation in the world, urged Japan to stick to having nuclear technology in order to produce nuclear weapons:
“As Japan has worked to strengthen the Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty regime through the peaceful use of nuclear power, the nation is permitted to use plutonium that can be used as material for nuclear weapons. In fact, this also functions diplomatically as a potential nuclear deterrent.”
Saadia Pekkanen, an adjunct professor at the University of Washington, who co-authored a 2010 book on Japanese defense technology, has said that we should be taking Japan’s nuclear capabilities seriously:
“The Japanese government has also hedged a great deal on the issue of nuclear weapons, which is what raises concerns abroad …Japan is credible as a latent nuclear power, and should be taken seriously as such by its rivals in the region”
From the later 1950s to now, the Japanese have been using nuclear energy in two different ways: for industrial use while at the same time maintaining and owning its usage for the production of nuclear weapons through amassing nuclear-fuel recycling technologies. As Feng Zhaouki, who works for the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences, simply put it:
“Since the late 1950s, however, Japan has been developing its nuclear energy industry with “dual purposes” — nuclear power reactors for commercial use and its capabilities in nuclear weapons through the accumulation of nuclear-fuel recycling technologies.”
As I said before, Japan works in increments, getting more and more advanced weaponry as long as the US gives it leeway to do so. Japan, a nation supposedly forced into pacifism, has acquired spy satellites, Hyuga-class helicopter carriers and Soru-class submarines, military technology that in the past would have been seen as inappropriate for Japan to own. Since Japan has been enabled and allowed to obtain military technology, and to develop the most powerful military in the Far-East, it is not far-fetched to say that they will one day have nuclear weapons, given the fact that it has very efficient capabilities to make that happen.
But there are those who will argue that the people of Japan would not want such a militaristically bent government. But I believe the reality is quite dark once it is brought forth from the cumulous of delusions of a repentant, peaceful Japan. Amongst whom is Abe the most popular? It is not the elderly who, after tasting the bitter herb of war do not want history to repeat itself. It is the young. According to one poll, fifty percent of young voters, ages 18 to 19, support Shinzo Abe and his governing coalition.
If Shinzo Abe is so unpopular, then why has he won the elections? The masses in Japan support him because they, for the most part, believe that he is going to make a better economy. How many millions of lives have been lost for the sake of the masses who desire great economy? The masses are indifferent to Abe’s fanatical and tyrannical goals because they see his economic policies as being of the supreme goal. While people will think that Abe is not doing anything to foment the outbreak of war in the Far-East, Shinzo Abe and his regime are controlling the media, preventing official secrets from being known to the public.
What agenda is Abe conspiring that he does not want the world to know? The answer may lie in a leaked conversation that took place in 2012, between Shinzo Abe and the former governor of Tokyo, Shintaro Ishihara, in which Ishihara told Abe that the constitution doesn’t need to be revised to enable Japan to use its military, but completely destroyed, and that a new constitution needs to be rewritten from scratch. Ishihara told Abe:
“Abe-san! Let’s not revise the Constitution piecemeal. The current Constitution was foisted on us by the (American-led postwar) Occupation … It needs to be thrown out and rewritten from scratch.”
This hatred towards the American occupation goes along the same lines as what Eisaku Sato said when he referred to the American occupation of Okinawa as “foreign domination”. It all goes back to that fanatical nationalist pride that the Japanese have harbored and still harbor.
The signs are there that there is going to be war in the Far-East, between Japan on one side, and China and her allies on the other. The question is, what will be the catalyst that will spark war? It seems that tensions will implode into war over the most important meat product in the Far-East: fish. Half of the world’s captured fish production comes from Asian fisheries, and six of the top ten producers of maritime products are Asian (that is, China, Indonesia, Japan, South Korea, Malaysia, the Philippines and Vietnam). Right now, the ocean’s fish is what is guaranteeing China’s economic security and regional dominance. So great is this need that China is rapidly depleting the fish populations of its own seas, so much so that it is entering disputed water territory in the East China Sea, which the Chinese believe belongs to them.
In 1978, the Chinese government set out to accomplish a plan of self-sufficiency in obtaining fish for its nation. In 1985, close to 90% of China’s fish was caught inshore. But this changed in 2002, when only 65% of China’s fish was caught inshore. In 2015, China set up a goal to catch 73 million tons of fish a year by 2020 and 77 million tons by 2024. In order for China to reach this goal, it cannot rely on its own waters, but must go into waters which other nations believe to be under their jurisdiction and not China’s. China has already been doing this. For example, in 2012 the Chinese government made an assessment that its main fishing areas are the Bohai Sea, the Yellow Sea, and the East China and South China Seas. In the survey, the Chinese determined that fish populations had declined significantly in the Bohai and Yellow Seas, and needed to be left alone so that they could replenish. It then began to expand its fish capturing around the much disputed Spratly Islands, over which Malaysia, the Philippines, China, Brunei, Taiwan and Vietnam lay claim. Here is where Japan comes into the picture: China is firmly committed to its belief that the waters of the Senkaku Islands and the East China Sea belong to it, and these are the very territories over which Japan claims to be the rightful owners. China expanding its fishing activities into these territories is infuriating and will be continuing to enrage the Japanese.
China is even utilizing a nationalistic militant measure in enforcing its convictions that the great part of the East China Sea belongs to it: maritime militias. China is encouraging its fishermen to venture out into disputed waters to take its fish. While carrying out the work necessary for fishing, these patriotic fishermen conduct surveillance missions for the Chinese government, and are also armed with weapons monitoring equipment, being ready to fulfill the demands of their leaders. They have three goals, according to one report: to encourage fishermen to exploit all of China’s claimed waters, to further the “national will” to establish maritime control, and to protect fellow fishermen in those pursuits.
Its not just Chinese fishermen patrolling the waters with arms and fishing on disputed territory, but also the Japanese air force using aggressive gestures against the Chinese air force. Just this month, two Japanese fighter jets intercepted a pair of Chinese Sukhoi Su-30 fighter jets and locked their weapons radar right on the Chinese planes, right over the East China Sea, near the disputed Senkaku Islands. According to one Chinese military report:
“The Japanese fighter jets approached and warned the Chinese military aircraft, while the Chinese military aircraft did not leave. During the flight, the Japanese fighter jets came face to face with the Chinese military aircraft for many times. To avoid risks, the Japanese fighter jets released infrared jamming shells and then flew out of that airspace … They even used fire-control radars to lock on the Chinese fighter jet.”
While the Japanese government is denying the provocation, Japanese Self-Defence Force chief Admiral Katsutoshi Kjawano said: “It appears that Chinese activity is escalating at sea and in the air”. In regards to the Japanese fighter jets locking onto the Chinese planes with fire control radar, the US Navy said: “Locking onto another fighter with fire control radar is one of the most provocative actions an adversary can take short of firing weapons.”
Last month, China sent one of their spy vessels through disputed waters near Japan’s Kagoshima prefecture, an unprecedented move that has not been done since the end of the Second World War. China is also planning to construct two “meg-ships” for its coastguard, with each one weighing 10,000 metric tons, making them the largest of such vessels in the world. The construction of these ships, alongside China’s navy maneuvering their ships through disputed waters, are all moves to force Japan to cease their claim over the East China Sea. All of these activities are signs that the tensions will implode into war between China and Japan.
While territory will most definitely be a political catalyst that will provoke nationalistic responses, geopolitics will provide both pretenses and means to ideological supremacy. In war, geopolitics and ideology are inseparable.
In the late 19th century, Japan wanted control over territory on the South China Sea—specifically the Pescadores Islands—, and on the the East China Sea—in particular the coasts of Tientsin Shanghai, and Canton, and the Yangtze River, the largest river in China and the third largest river in the world. The desire to control maritime territory and islands imploded into violence, with Japan declaring war on China in 1894. (See Bix, Hirohito, intro, p. 8) Japan would go on to invade China for the purpose of controlling Korea. Japan today still wants to control Korea, and will use the aggression of North Korea to validate its ostentatious bolstering of military strength, and its own confronting of other Asian countries. What is most worthy of our observation is the historical parallels. Japan wanted to control Chinese maritime territories and islands, and today Japan wants to dominate the East China Sea, and the Senkaku islands. Today, Japan wants to dominate the waters East Asia, it wants to retake the Sakhalin and the Kuril Islands from Russia, and it is using military aggression to scare China away from pursuing its claim over the Senkaku Islands. The territorial conflict in history ended in war, and what will the current conflict in the Far East — with its military encroachments and fanatical gestures — lead to? History will tell us: war.
People argue that Japan will not revive its old militarism because it has become pacifistic. But this line of thinking — developed by modern stupidity — is brought to nought by the history of the Meiji dynasty. In the Meiji era Japan uprooted its Samurai feudalism, and the people, drenched in Western comforts, became habituated in antimilitarism, looking at the Samurai with fear and suspicion. One could have said in those times that Japan would not be a threat because it had adopted Western conveniences. But in 1895, Japan attacked China, and this measure reawakened the Samurai ideology, and also stimulated a sense of racial superiority over the Chinese and Koreans. (Bix, Hirohito, intro, pp. 8-9)
After Japan invaded China, the Russians intervened. Alongside Germany and France, the Russians were able to defeat the Japanese and establish its influence over Korea, keeping Japan in check. Russia also acquired leasehold rights in the Liaotung Peninsula and moved right into Manchuria in 1898. In 1901 a revolution broke out in China, called the Boxer Rebellion. It was very anti-Christian, anti-Western, and violent. Influenced by Taoist teachings, the Boxers went into a blood rage, inflicting a reign of terror against British and Japanese diplomats and Chinese Christians. 10,000 Muslims, called the Kansu Braves, joined the revolution and heavily took part in the bloodbath. In one disturbing instance, the Muslims beheaded the Japanese chancellor, Sugiyama Akira. This provoked the Japanese, because of the danger posed against its diplomats and citizens, to sign the Boxer Protocol, which enabled them to join the Western forces in fighting the Chinese rebels, and most importantly, to permanently place stations of troops in designated Chinese cities to protect Japanese nationals and diplomats.
The Japanese used the threat of the Islamic and Taoist rebellion as a way to justify deploying troops into China. There is an eery reminiscence here to our own times. Shinzo Abe used the beheading of a Japanese journalist as a way to subtly validate militarism. It is quite plausible to say that Japan will use future murders, either done by Muslim terrorists or Chinese or Korean nationalists, to restore its past military robustness in the region. Just this month, a Korean nationalist named Jeon Chang-Han was sentenced to four years in prison for bombing the Yasukuni Shrine, a militaristically ideological temple where Japanese war criminals, who orchestrated the mass slaughter and rape of the Korean people in the 20th century, are deified and worshipped as gods. The incident may be used by Japan’s elites to foment hatred for Koreans and other foreigners, like the Chinese.
Three years after Japan placed its troops in China to supposedly protect Japanese nationals from Muslim and Boxer terrorists, in 1904 it made a surprise attack on the Russian fleet at Port Arthur. The Japanese attacked the Russians because it knew that the only way it would become the superpower over Asia was to vanquish and crush Russia. The surprise attack commenced the Russo-Japanese War, which lasted from 1904 to 1905, and which led to the deaths of 110,000 Japanese and countless more Russian lives. Notwithstanding its heavy losses, the Japanese took the victory, gaining the leasehold rights over the Liaotung Peninsula, a seven-hundred mile long railway running through southern Manchuria, and the southern part of the Sakhalin Island on the Sea of Okhotsk. (See Bix, Hirohito, intro, p. 9) Today, Japan wants to take the Kuril Islands and the Sakhalin from Russia, and it appears that war will break between the countries, and the dispute over territory will be a catalyst leading to it.
In WW2, the Russians retook the whole of Sakhalin and cast out all of its Japanese inhabitants. Till this day the Japanese want that island, and they will resume this conflict to retake it. In both WW2 and the earlier Japanese wars against Russia and China, spiritual ideology was at the center of Japan’s holy war and bent on supremacy. As it was then, so it will be in our own epoch.
Buddhist ideology, regardless of how people keep referring to Japan as an irreligious nation, is still deep seated in political philosophy, nationalist pride and imperial ideas. Japanese prime ministers have even spoken of going through spiritual experiences in Buddhist temples.
Take for example Yasuhiro Nakosone, who served as Japan’s prime minister from 1982 to 1987. He wrote a book called, The Making of the New Japan, in which he talks about politics and Buddhism. In one part of the book he writes of a spiritual experience that he had in a Buddhist temple:
“Once when the chief priest rang the bell for the end of one hour of meditation, my whole seemed to disintegrate, to collapse without warning, and I was plunged into an abyss of contrition. My sense of self disappeared and everything seemed to glow with warmth. Perhaps it was an hallucination. According to the priest there are thousands of stages, great, and small, in the process of enlightenment.” (p. 230)
In another part of the book, Nakasone recounts how during the Second World War he would immerse himself in the Buddhist scriptures and offer intercession for the souls of the Japanese soldiers who died in battle, that is, terrorist invaders who raped and mass slaughtered entire nations, and killed and tortured American and allied soldiers:
“At night I would sit there and copy out the Sansuikyo sutras of Dogen or be absorbed in reading the Buddhist scriptures or struggling with haiku. And of course I lit incense and prayed for the souls of those who had died in the war.” (p. 39)
The Sansuikyos that Nakasone is referring to is the “Mountains and Water” sutra, written by the prestigious Japanese Buddhist authority, Dogen. By reading this book, one can learn something about the relationship between Buddhism and government within Buddhist society in the context of Japanese imperial religion. In one section of the sutra, it speaks of how the emperor receives wisdom from the Buddhist monks:
“For the imperial authority has no authority over the mountain sage, and [the emperors] knew that the mountains are beyond the mundane world. In ancient times we have [the cases of] Kongtong and the Hua Guard: when the Yellow Emperor [Huang-ti] made his visit, he went on his knees, prostrated himself, and begged instruction.”
Nakasone believes in this structure, and in another writing he made mention on how in the modern era Japanese politicians still go to Buddhist monks to seek their wisdom, and how he, in emulation of this, partook in Zen mediation:
“In the past, some politicians made a point of meeting regularly for dinner with philosophers and Zen priests in order to listen to their views. They would pay heed, for example, to what was said by Zen master Seki Bokuo or by Hashimoto Gyoin the chief priest of Nara temple, or by Yasuoka Seitoku. Politicians from Confucian backgrounds had a desire to find the truth and I tried to emulate this through Zen meditation.”
Nakasone still reveres the emperor as the spiritual head of the Japanese nation, since, in a work published in 2002, he wrote:
“Japan today lacks a new, functional, pragmatic political authority that can replace the authority of the emperor system of the pre-war period. The position of the prime minister must be stabilized and made into a firm, fixed point in politics by turning it into an authority with a base among the people and directly connected to them. The use of a system of direct election of the prime minister will make that possible for the first time. … The emperor is the symbol of the spiritual and historical unity of the people and a public presence that embraces the country as a whole. …The emperor and the directly elected prime minister will together ensure the unity of the people but, since the directly elected prime minister is only partially responsible for functional unity under the emperor, his role will not violate the emperor system.” (Nakasone, Japan–a State Strategy for the Twenty-first Century, p. 12, ellipses mine)
When the BBC was planning on making a documentary about the Emperor Hirohito in 2011, they asked Nakasone’s secretary if the former prime minister could be in the film, and the secretary rejected their invitation before even consulting Nakasone, stating: “The contents were so clearly intended to make a villain of the emperor”. The anger indicates a continuous glorification and veneration of the emperor.
In the same book quoted above, Nakasone pushes for changing Article 9 of the constitution, which imposes pacifism on Japan, writing:
“It is time to take action either to amend Article 9 or to define how it should be interpreted, and to do so on the basis of national understanding and consent” (p. 48)
Bringing Japan back to militarism goes hand in hand with the spiritual foundation of the nation. This is why Shinzo Abe, in May of this year, brought the leaders of the G-7 to what is considered by the Japanese to be the holiest Shinto temple Japan, the Ise Shrine. Conveying the leaders of the G-7 to the shrine was motivated by a political agenda. According to the Japanese Foreign Ministry, the visit to the shrine was a presentation of “leadership in guiding the world by showing the best path forward for peace and prosperity”. And this path is what? a Shinto shrine? Yasuhisa Kawamura said that “Ise is the place to present the beauty of nature and the richness of our culture and long tradition.” The temple is dedicated to the sun goddess Amaterasu Omikami, mythical ancestress of the emperor, whose name means “Heaven-Illuminating Great Deity.”
Part of the meeting with the G-7 was to discuss “concerns over China’s expanding presence in disputed areas of the South China Sea”. So, religion and politics were brought together in the meeting, and in this case it was an elusive approach in favor of Japanese aggressions and constitutional revision with the objective of removing Article 9.
The ideologically Shinto nature behind the meeting is further revealed by the fact that in 2013 it was reported that “Abe is the association’s secretary-general” for the the Shinto Political Alliance Diet Members’ Association, an organization that desires to bring back Japan to imperial religion in which the sun goddess Amaterasu and the emperor are worshipped. As I have written before, almost all of Abe’s cabinet belong to the Shinto Association of Spiritual Leadership (SAS), which has firm backers of Abe and his agenda, especially in his work to cover up the genocide that Japan committed. The cult wants the Japanese government to have state sponsored worship of the souls of the Japanese war criminals of the Second World War, that would include those who conducted the massacres of millions of Asians and Allied Troops and the slaughter in Pearl Harbor. Could you imagine if politicians in Germany demanded a holiday for worshipping Hitler? This is just as evil, but for some strange reason Japan gets a free pass in holocaust denial and imperial religion. In fact, over three hundred Japanese members of parliament belong to this political cult, the Shinto Association of Spiritual Leadership.
The power that this group has increased in recent years. In 1984, the group only had 44 MPs for members, by 2014, this would grow to 268, and now it is over 300. The only explanation for this is that followers of fanatic nationalist religion have grown bolder and more powerful. In the Japanese parliament, the majority of the MPs agree with changing the constitution and reviving Japanese militarism, and now you have hundreds of MPs believing that sun worship, emperor worship, and the worship of war criminals, should be the state religion.
Another cult that Abe is a part of is Nippon Kaigi, a very powerful organization consisting of Japan’s elites. This cult believes that “Japan should be applauded for liberating much of East Asia”, that the “Tokyo War Crimes tribunals were illegitimate,” and that the rape of Nanking was either “exaggerated or fabricated.” In 2013, Shinzo Abe appointed eighteen new people to be members of his cabinet, fifteen of those were members of Nippon Kaigi. To celebrate the new appointments, Nippon Kaigai threw a party, in which they held aloft the old imperial “Rising Sun” flag of Japan, and declared to the emperor:
“May your reign Continue for a thousand, eight thousand generations,
Until the pebbles grow into boulders
Lush with moss.”
Nippon Kaigi also wants to restore Japan’s imperial religion, the cult of the emperor. One of the members of the cult is is Hideaki Kase, the son of the high ranking Foreign Ministry official during WW2, Toshikazu Kase, and the Chairman of the Society for the Dissemination of Historical Fact. In other words, he is a propagandist for Japan. Kase worships the kamikazes as though they are divine. In one of his writings he praises the kamikazes and quotes the words of Lieutenant General Tominaga:
“The Kamikaze pilots had the pure hearts of heroes and the noble spirits of the gods. The dignity they exhibited had no equal.” (Sake, Why Do We Praise the Kamikaze?, p. 4)
Kase praised the emperor, saying:
“He is a priest-king, the highest ranking Shintoist priest, half-god, half-man.”
In 1986 there was an article published by the Washington Post that described how every year the Emperor Hirohito plants rice in the spring and harvests it in the autumn in a ceremony that represents the embodiment of all the fields of the nation. Kase said that “It symbolizes that the emperor eats with the gods, slumbers with the gods”.
In March of 2006, 10,000 Japanese people gathered together in the Nippon Buddokan to rally in defense of the imperial cult of the emperor. Amongst the large crowd were eighty six members of the Japanese parliament, each of whom, according to a Japanese report, had “their determination to defend the tradition of the imperial family.” Again, imperial religion and politics were intertwined in the event. One of the speakers of the event, Itaru Miyoshi, the Japan Conference Chairman, expressed anger about the Postdam Declaration, which was a statement that called for the utter surrender by Japan. “Now,” said Itaru, “we are reminded [of what occurred] sixty one years ago. When the 1945 Potsdam Declaration was accepted, Japan’s national character since the dawn of history, has faced the most serious crisis.” He also said:
“In order to meet the majesty of trust, it is proposed that we want to continue to expand the activities to protect the way of the throne, which led to the tradition of the imperial family.”
The event also focused on the Emperor Jimmu, the very first emperor of Japan, who is believed to be a direct descendent of Amaterasu and who is portrayed in Japanese art with a long a beard and a face reminiscent to that of an Ainu native. Terumasa Nakanishi, one of the speakers at the pro imperial family event and a professor at Kyoto University, proposed that what must be done for Japanese society to maintain the imperial cult was to stress importance on the mythology behind the Emperor Jimmu, stating that it was the divine family that led “to the genealogy of the gods”.
This is reminiscent to what Michiko Hasegawa said in recent years. In 2014, Shinzo Abe chose Hasegawa to be on the management board of the public broadcaster NHK (Japan Broadcasting Corporation). She would later go on to praise the emperor as a god and praise ritual suicide for the imperial cause, exalting Shusuke Nomura, a Japanese pagan nationalist who killed himself as a sacrifice to the emperor:
It is only to God human beings can offer their own lives… If it is devoted in the truly right way, there could be no better offering. When Mr Shusuke Nomura committed suicide at the Asahi Shimbun headquarters 20 years ago, he … offered his death to God.
In the same rally at the Nippon Buddokon, praise for the imperial system did not just stay within a mythological worldview, but like all paganism, went into ethnocentric religion. Yoshiko Sakurai, the sun worshipper who adores Shinzo Abe, was another speaker at the event in which she said that the origin of the emperor is found in the Japanese pantheon of the gods, and that this origin is the same as that of the Japanese race. She said that the royal family “departs from the world of mythology” and that “the tradition of the imperial family” “is the story of our Japanese ethnic origins.”
Takeo Hiranuma, another sun worshipper and member of the Japanese House of Representatives and of the Nippon Kaigai cult, was also a speaker at the rally for the imperial traditions. In his speech he stated, “We are the precious treasure of the Japanese race, it is the world of treasure.”
It was this very ideology that would be the underpinning of Japanese imperialism during the Second World War. The exaltation of the Japanese race as being something divine was used by Harada Daiun Sogaku, a Buddhist monk who played a large role in spreading Buddhism in the West. Sogaku stated in 1934:
“The spirit of Japan is the Great Way of the [Shinto] gods. It is the substance of the universe, the essence of the Truth. The Japanese people are a chosen people whose mission is to control the world. The sword which kills is also the sword which gives life.” (Harada, Sanzen no Kaitei, p. 112, in Victoria, Zen At War, ch. 9, p. 137)
Such a belief in Japanese superiority is based on the Shinto scriptures. In the Kojiki, the Japanese “Record of Ancient Things,” it speaks of two deities, Izanagi and Izanami, who swirl the “bridge of heaven” in the ocean and raise it up. The liquid that drips off of it becomes an island on which they descend and create “a great column to the heavens”, something that sounds reminiscent to the Tower of Babel. The text goes on to say that the deities “mated and gave birth to the eight main islands of Japan and six minor islands.” Japan then, according to Shinto, is a land that bridges the heavens with the earth, much like how the builders of Babel believed that both their tower and their city was to “reach unto heaven” (Genesis 11:4). The Sumerians had a very similar system of belief. As the Japanese saw Japan as being made from the bridge between heaven and earth, the Sumerians saw their cities no differently. The city of Nippur, where Enlil was the chief deity, was addressed as follows: “Behold the ‘bond of heaven and earth, the city,… behold Nippur, the city.” (Kramer, Sumer. Myth., ch. ii, p. 43)
As the Japanese see Amaterasu as the mother of Japan and their race, the Mesopotamians saw the city of Erech as being created by the goddess Venus. The Arabian goddess Allat was called in Mesopotamia, Um-Uruk, or “the mother of the town of Erech,” (See F. Lenormant, Chaldean Magic, ch. ix, p. 116) implying that the city had emanated from the planet Venus, which the goddess represented. Erech, or Uruk, was revered also because it had lodged the shrine of Anu, or the god of heaven. (See Hans Baumann, In the Land of Ur, The Creation of Paradise, p. 52) The true account of Erech’s founding was that it was founded by Nimrod, but the Sumerians had subscribed to a more supernatural story of the city’s genesis.
The Japanese text then continues on to say that the deities Izanagi and his sister, Amaterasu, “parented eight deities. Among these was the ancestor of Yamato family that ruled Japan, and two others were ancestors of nineteen of its highest families.” The religion of Shinto, then, declares that the Japanese race is divine, since it springs directly from the gods. The text specifically mentions the Yamato family, who are the dominant race in Japan, since the royal family is Yamato. The Yamatos were people who settled in Japan and dominated the entire region, and became preponderant over the native peoples of Japan, such as the Ainu. The divine origin that Shintoism gives the Yamato race, only signifies that the entire belief system is a racially supremacist ideology, designed to keep the Yamatos in the superior position, and to justify genocide over other peoples.
It is beneficial for our study of Japanese religion and imperialism to look back to the Meiji Restoration of 1868, an era that marks the beginning of Japan’s rise to empire. As I wrote in 2014, Shinzo Abe likened his new policy on allowing Japan to participate in war, to the Meiji Restoration. In 2014, in a speech for the Tokyo Today Annual Conference, he praised the Meiji restoration:
“My hometown is in Yamaguchi Prefecture, a region that was home to many of the patriots of the Meiji era who guided Japan on its path to modernity.”
During the Meiji period there was a Shinto organization called Yoshida Shinto, which believed that the Japanese religion was the “origin of all world religions and called for spreading Japanese ethics to the world.” (See Radtke, The Making of Private and Public Space in Meiji Japan) In the Meiji Restoration of 1868, the position of the emperor as the head of the Japanese people was reinstated, the Emperor Meiji (after whose name this era was titled) was coronated, and there was a revitalization of the Shinto religion. The Emperor Meiji’s advisors established the Shinto religion as the state religion for Japan and they codified three tenets that all were to believe. The first was that the emperor was divine because he was the descendent of the sun goddess, Amaterasu; the second was that Japan was not just a populated geographic location, but a land and people whose origins come from Amaterasu, and thus they are a race highly favored by the gods; and the third tenet was that Japan had a sacred destiny to spread “enlightenment” to the other races of the world.
It was the Meiji Restoration that brought about modern Japanese imperialism, and the fact that Shinzo Abe wants to bring back the Meiji Restoration, alongside the pagan supremacist beliefs being propagated by Abe and his ilk, is a sign that Japan will go back to imperialistic ideological militarism. When you have the Japanese government exploring new ways to teach in schools the denial of Japanese atrocities in order to make students “more patriotic” and to take pride in their imperial past, and when you have major Japanese elites denying the mass rape of hundreds of thousands of women by Japanese soldiers, or calling it “normal,” the idea of Japan reviving its evil empire looks all the more realistic.
Shintoism directly teaches that the emperors of Japan are descendants of the sun goddess, Amaterasu, thus making the Japanese nation superior to all nations. As scholar S.C.M Paine writes:
“The Meiji reformers relied on the Shinto doctrine of divine imperial descent to justify the position of the emperor as being above the law and as the source of governmental authority and power. Because of his divine origin, the Japanese people owed unquestioning loyalty to his spokesmen and cabinet ministers.” (The Sino-Japanese War, pp. 87-88)
Since the Japanese, in the eyes of their religion, are descendants of the gods, then those who die in the cause of the religion are in turn divine themselves, and all those who are under the divine race, are worthy of destruction and enslavement. There was an event to celebrate the twentieth anniversary for the ascension to the throne of the current emperor of Japan, Akihito, and in this event, Kuzonori Zamami, the Honorary Chairman for the Bereaved Family of Okinawa Prefecture War Dead Joint Association, praised the current emperor for worshipping the souls of the dead soldiers who fought the Americans in the Japanese fight for Okinawa. “On April 23,” said Zamami, “their Majesties the Emperor and Empress headed for a battle site located in the south known as the bloodiest battlefield in Battle of Okinawa immediately after arriving at Naha Airport, and paid floral tribute and worshipped the victims at the National Okinawa War Dead Burial Park for the first time as his Majesty the Emperor. … I became strongly aware of feeling his Majesty the Emperor was conceiving that victims in Okinawa should be wholeheartedly worshipped.”
The Japanese, being a people of the Altaic Turkic race, see the emperor as the shaman of the nation, just as the pagan Central Asians would have a shaman for a tribe. Hideaki Kase even referred to the emperor as “a shaman.” The shaman, to them, is a divine being with supernatural power. It is very difficult to extirpate this religion from a people who have deeply believed in it for thousands of years. Even to this day, this religion strongly resonates into the soul of the nation.
And this brings us back to the G-7 meeting at the Ise Shrine. The prime minister of the most powerful nation of East Asia, Shinzo Abe, is a devout sun worshipper, and he brought the leaders of the G-7 to the most important temple of his religion, the Ise Shrine. The religious and political significances of this story cannot be missed or ignored. It is like an ancient king of pagandom having his enemies worship his gods. This was not just a meeting, but a show of religious superiority. Ise is not only the holiest place in the Shinto religion, but the holiest place in Japan. It is a cloister of 125 shrines, and in the middle lies the Inner Shrine, or Naiku, which is considered the holiest spot in Japan, because it is believed to be the house of the sun goddess, Amaterasu. Abe’s devotion to the emperor coincides with his worship of Amaterasu.
Devotion towards Amaterasu most definitely means a worship towards the emperor. The two are interconnected by the same religion of Shintoism. When the emperor is initiated into the position of tribal sovereign, he undergoes a most bizarre ritual, one believed to be literally done with Amaterasu. It is called the daijosai ceremony, in which the new emperor “enters” the womb of the sun goddess and then is ‘reborn’ as the son of Amaterasu and as the divine king. The second part of the ritual is even more bizarre: the emperor “spends the night” with Amaterasu and simulates having sexual intercourse with her. In 1993, one million Japanese Christians protested against the ritual because it was state sponsored, and thereby, signified that the government was a favoring a particular religion.
The visit to the shrine was not just a mere visit to a religious site. Shintoism is not a universal religion that puts significance in any nation. It is specifically a governmental and imperialist religion whose focus is solely the power and greatness of Japan. For Abe to bring Western leaders to the shrine was a gesture of religious and political superiority. Professor Breen said that Abe choosing the Ise shrine was “very closely connected” to his revisionist ideology of bringing Japan back to militarism, “a perfect fit with his active involvement with the Shinto Seiji Renmei, and its aim of bringing Shinto into the heart of government”.
Koichi Nakano, a politics professor at Sophia University in Tokyo, made a very telling statement:
“Shinto is not a universal religion, and it’s inherently nationalistic… I already felt rather uncomfortable when Barack Obama was taken to Meiji Shrine last time he visited Japan, and it would be no less disturbing to see the G7 leaders being used to legitimise Shinto, given its reactionary and nationalistic positions on so many issues.”
What is this obsession with shrines? Abe and his ilk want the shrines to be elevated as gods and the highest authorities in Japan, with the emperor being the ultimate shrine. It is why Yutaka Yuzawa, the director of the Shinto Association of Spiritual Leadership, of which Abe is the secretary general and almost all of his cabinet are members, stated that the Yasukuni Shrine — where Japanese war criminals are deified — is divine:
“It relates to our culture, history and tradition…To us, Yasukuni Shrine is a god.”
If you don’t believe that there is Shinto fanaticism for the temples in Japan, watch this video of a Canadian being attacked by a group of Japanese Shintoists and then arrested by police for simply questioning the veneration for war criminals in the Yasukuni Shrine:
The Ise Shrine, through the eyes of imperialist Japanese society, is the symbol of authority and political superiority. One of Japan’s most prominent postwar political scientists, Masao Maruyama, specified that the three types of political entities involved in the process towards despotism, which “serv[ed] to formulate not only the fascist period but the entire political world of Imperial Japan”, were the “Shrine,” the “Official,” and the “Outlaw.” Maruyama wrote:
“The Shrine represents authority; the Official, power; and the Outlaw, violence. From the point of view of their position in the national hierarchy and their legal power, the Shrine ranks highest and the Outlaw lowest. The system, however, is so constituted that movement starts from the Outlaw and gradually works upwards. The Shrine is often a mere robot who affects other people by “doing nothing” … The force that “holds aloft” the Shrine and that wields the real power is the Official (civilian or military). His rule over the powerless people is based on the legitimacy that descends from the Shrine. He in his turn is being prodded from behind by the Outlaw.” (See Victoria, Zen War Stories, part 1, ch. 4)
In other words, tyranny is founded in the masses. The minister is given legitimacy by the shrine, or the spiritual authority, and in turn, this governmental official upholds the religious jurisdiction over the people, while the political authority is supported by the masses (the “outlaw”). In the cases of Japan, the “outlaw” encompasses the fanatic nationalists and militarists in the Japanese population who are voting for Abe and his party. Abe, in turn, is holding aloft the shrine by promoting it to the people and the world as being rooted in Japanese tradition. This is why Abe will frequent the Yasukuni Shrine and the Ise Shrine; he is holding them up as divine powers over the nation. In fact, Abe believes that his political success is due to a spiritual experience that he had in a Buddhist holy site.
After a failed political career in 2007, Abe was told by an associate that he should make a religious pilgrimage to the Shinto Buddhist site of Kumano Sanzan, which consists of three temples that together enshrine three revered mountains. The three shrines are associated by worshippers with the three buddhas, “Amida-nyorai”, “Yakushi-nyorai” and “Senju-kannon”. It was in this pilgrimage site where Abe received ‘political rebirth.’ According to a report:
Months after resigning in September 2007, Abe visited Kumano Shrine deep in the mountains of western Japan, known since ancient times as a place of healing and resurrection. Few thought then he would be politically reborn as one of the country’s most popular leaders.
“It is said that if you make a pilgrimage there, you will be restored to life,” said one government source close to Abe. “I said, ‘Let’s go there and you will surely come back.’”
Abe’s conviction that his political “rebirth” was found in a shrine, is connected with what Maruyama wrote in his description of Japan’s descent to tyranny: the shrine gives the minister legitimacy; the minister upholds the shrine as the highest authority; the masses support the minister and thus will follow the shrine.
The Japanese military chaplain, Sato Gan’ei, wrote that the purpose of religion in Japan was “to be an instrument of the state and an instrument of the Imperial Household.” He also wrote that the government allowed Buddhism to influence society “to ensure that citizens fulfill their duties [to the state] while at the same time preserving social order and stability.” (See Victoria, Zen War Stories, part 2, ch. 8, p. 151) I believe you will see the Japanese government, in the future, using Buddhism and Shintoism in a single amalgamated ideology to promote militarism, imperialism and genocide.