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Japan should reflect on its own policies
(China Daily) Updated:2005-12-26 14:53

  Japan knows very well how to divert the world's attention to its neighbours by making them its enemies.

  Japanese Foreign Minister Taro Aso claimed on Thursday that China is a considerable threat to Japan.

  It is not clear what he has based his remarks on. Historically, China has never invaded any countries. Neither will it do so in the future.

  It is Aso's own country that colonized the Korean Peninsula 100 years ago. It is also Japan that invaded its neighbours and established its Asian empire more than half a century ago.

  Still, it is Japan that has been insulting its neighbours in recent years by rubbing salt into their wounds.

  Japan has been building up its military muscles for decades to defend against fabricated enemies.

  This country has been covering its expansionist ambitions, past and present, if not future, by shouting with the crowd. Japan has been groping its way forward. It cannot unload its heavy baggage without a sincere reflection on the despicable periods of its past.

  Increasing military development, with the emphasis on monetary contributions to support the country's global presence reducing, features in its present diplomacy.

  Article 9 of the Japanese Constitution is unique for its message of peace. It says the Japanese people "forever renounce war as a sovereign right of the nation." It also pledges against maintaining any "land, sea and air forces, as well as other war potential."

  Today Japan has a sophisticated Self Defence Force, having a total strength of 260,000 men. Its arms industry is producing high-performance fighter aircraft, tanks, navy ships and a variety of small missiles.

  Amending a set of government-sponsored war contingency bills, Japan is ready to deploy its SDF in the event of an enemy attack. The bills also give the prime minister greater powers in times of emergency.

  These moves go beyond constitutional constraints.

  The country has dispatched its troops beyond its border. Since the end of the first Gulf War, Japan has discreetly sought more active participation in international peacekeeping missions.

  Japanese troops have been sent to Cambodia, East Timor, and the Indian Ocean. In Afghanistan, the Maritime SDF provided the United States military with logistical support. Japanese SDF have been deployed in Iraq, for the first time, under their own flag instead of that of the United Nations.

  In the fiscal year 2005 budget, the Japanese Government allowed the SDF to be virtually transformed into an armed force that exists mainly for overseas deployment.

  By approving the "National Defence Programme Outline," the Japanese Government brought the SDF posture in line with the US pre-emptive attack strategy.

  Japan's defence policies are not only contradicting its own peaceful constitution but also going against the world's demand for peace.

  Asked recently about his country's future, Japanese Cabinet Secretary Shinzo Abe reportely said he wanted to see a Japan that promotes democracy in the world and a Japan where "people in other parts of the world would like to live" and "become citizens."

  It is difficult for a country to play the role of a world leader if it does not have the trust of its neighbouring countries because of its lack of reflection on the past. That Japan has been constantly bragging about threats from its neighbours serves as a source of tension and instability in the region.

  The nation is making itself a difficult neighbour to live next door to.




















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