Is Shinzo Abe's 'new nationalism' a throwback to Japanese imperialism?

Discussion in 'Indo Pacific & East Asia' started by Ray, Nov 28, 2013.

  1. Ray

    Ray The Chairman Defence Professionals Moderator

    Joined:
    Apr 17, 2009
    Messages:
    43,117
    Likes Received:
    23,545
    Location:
    Somewhere
    Is Shinzo Abe's 'new nationalism' a throwback to Japanese imperialism?


    The escalating standoff in the Pacific is seen by Beijing and Seoul as proof that Japan is reviving its military mindset


    [​IMG]
    Members of Japan's maritime self-defence forces: Abe believes Japan's national interest is existentially linked to freedom of navigation and open sea lanes around the Senkakus and elsewhere.

    The deepening confrontation between Japan and its giant neighbour, China, over a disputed island chain, which this week sucked in US military forces flying B-52 bombers, holds no terrors for Kenji Fujii, captain of the crack Japanese destroyer JS Murasame.

    As a battleship-grey drizzle sweeps across Yokosuka harbour, home port to the Japan maritime self-defence force and the US Seventh Fleet, Fujii stands four-square on his helicopter deck, a totemic red Japanese sun-ray ensign flapping at the flagstaff behind him. His stance exudes quiet purposefulness.

    The Murasame, armed with advanced missiles, torpedoes, a 76mm rapid-fire turret cannon and a vicious-looking Phalanx close-in-weapons-system (CIWS) Gatling gun, is on the frontline of Japan's escalating standoff with China and its contentious bid to stand up for itself and become a power in the world once again. And Fujii clearly relishes his role in the drama.

    Asked whether he will be taking his ship south, to the hotly disputed waters off the Senkaku islands in the East China sea (which China calls the Diaoyu and claims as its own), Fujii smiles and bows. His executive officer, acting as translator, explains that "for security and operational reasons" the captain cannot comment. The situation there is just too sensitive.

    [​IMG]
    The disputed islands in the East China Sea known as Senkaku in Japan and Diaoyu in China.

    The name Murasame means "passing shower". But Japan's decision last year to in effect nationalise some of the privately owned Senkakus – officials prefer to call it a transfer of property rights – triggered a prolonged storm of protest from China, which has been sending ships to challenge the Japanese coastguard ever since.

    So far, there have been no direct armed exchanges, but there have been several close shaves, including a Chinese navy radar lock-on and the firing of warning shots by a Japanese fighter plane.

    China's weekend declaration of an exclusive "air defence identification zone" covering the islands was denounced by Tokyo and Washington and sharply increased the chances of a military clash. US B-52 bombers and Japanese civilian airliners have subsequently entered the zone, ignoring China's new "rules".

    On Tuesday, Beijing said it had monitored the flights; its next move is awaited with some trepidation.

    [​IMG]
    Japanese navy on manoeuvres last year: Beijing and Seoul view efforts to give Japan a bigger role on the world stage as intrinsically threatening.

    For Shinzo Abe, Japan's conservative prime minister who marks one year in office next month, the Senkaku dispute is only one facet of a deteriorating east Asian security environment that is officially termed "increasingly severe" and which looks increasingly explosive as China projects its expanding military, economic and political power beyond its historical borders.

    One year on, Abe's no-nonsense response is plain: Japan must loosen the pacifist constitutional bonds that have held it in check since 1945 and stand up forcefully for its interests, its friends and its values. The way Abe tells it, Japan is back – and the tiger he is riding is dubbed Abe's "new nationalism".

    It is no coincidence that high-level contacts with China and South Korea have been in deep freeze ever since Abe took office, while the impasse over North Korea has only deepened. Unusually, a date for this year's trilateral summit between Japan, China and South Korea has yet to be announced.

    The Beijing and Seoul governments profess to view Abe's efforts to give Japan a bigger role on the world stage, forge security and defence ties with south-east Asian neighbours, and strengthen the US alliance as intrinsically threatening – a throwback to the bad old days of Japanese imperialism.

    [​IMG]
    Shinzo Abe reviews troops near Tokyo: Abe believes Japan must loosen the pacifist constitutional bonds that have held it in check since 1945 and stand up forcefully for its interests.

    Abe is also charged with arrogance, chauvinism and historical revisionism, by minimising or ignoring wartime legacies such as the controversy over Korean "comfort women" who were forced into prostitution by Japanese troops during the second world war.

    Addressing the UN general assembly in September, Abe set an unapologetically expansive global agenda for a newly assertive Japan. Whether the issue was Syria, nuclear proliferation, UN peacekeeping, Somali piracy, development assistance or women's rights, Tokyo would have its say. "I will make Japan a force for peace and stability," Abe said. "Japan will newly bear the flag of 'proactive contribution to peace' [his policy slogan]."

    Referring to the initial success of his "Abenomics" strategy to revive the country's economic fortunes, he went on to promise Japan would "spare no pains to get actively involved in historic challenges facing today's world with our regained strength and capacity … The growth of Japan will benefit the world. Japan's decline would be a loss for people everywhere."

    Just in case Beijing missed his drift, Abe spelled it out: as a global trading nation, Japan's reinvigorated "national interest" was existentially linked to freedom of navigation and open sea lanes around the Senkakus and elsewhere. "Changes to the maritime order through the use of force or coercion cannot be condoned under any circumstances."

    Akio Takahara, professor of international relations and law at Tokyo university, said such statements made clear the Senkaku standoff was potentially precedent-setting for all the countries of the region, including Vietnam and the Philippines, which have their own island disputes with Beijing.

    "[Senkaku] must be viewed as an international issue, not just a bilateral issue … and it is very, very dangerous. They [China] must stop the provocations," Takahara said. "If Japan did buckle, it would send a very bad message to China's hardliners, they would be triumphant and the modernisers and reformers would be marginalised."

    [​IMG]
    A senior government official was more terse: "We don't want to see China patrolling the East and South China seas as though they think they own them."

    Abe's forcefulness has produced forceful reactions. In a recent editorial, South Korea's Joongang Daily, lambasted him as "one of the most rightwing politicians in Japan in decades". It continued: "Buoyed by the nationalist mood sweeping Japanese society since Abe took the helm of the once-pacifist nation, [rightwing politicians] are increasingly regressing to a militarist path … As a result, the political situation of north-east Asia is becoming shakier than ever."

    Pure hyperbole, say Abe's defenders. Tensions were high primarily as a result of China's aggressive bid for hegemonic regional leadership, a senior foreign ministry official insisted, while describing the antagonistic South Korean leadership's anti-Japan behaviour as "strange" and "emotional".

    Abe's premise, said government spokeswoman Kuni Sato, was that, after years of restraint, "Japan can now do what other countries do within international law". What Abe was doing was "necessary and justified" in the face of China's diplomatic hostility and rapid military buildup, said Yuji Miyamoto, a former ambassador to Beijing.

    "Only three countries don't understand this policy – China, South Korea and North Korea," said Nobuo Kishi, the prime minister's younger brother and senior vice-minister for foreign affairs. In contrast, the members of Asean (Association of South-East Asian Nations) were mostly on board.

    Abe's advancing security agenda suggests his second year in office will be even more rumbustious than the first. It includes creating a national security council modelled on the US and British versions (David Cameron and William Hague have offered their advice), a new national security strategy, revamped defence guidelines, and a harsh state secrets law.

    Criticised by the UN and the main opposition parties, the proposed law threatens long jail sentences for whistleblowers and journalists who break its vague, catchall provisions. Abe has increased the defence budget for the first time in years, is overseeing an expansion of naval and coastguard capabilities (Japan's maritime self-defence force, or navy, is already the second biggest in Asia by tonnage), and has gathered expert support for a reinterpretation of article 9 of Japan's pacifist constitution to allow "collective self-defence" – meaning that if the US or another ally is attacked, Japanese armed forces will join the fight.

    On the diplomatic front, Abe is busily wooing his Asian neighbours. Having visited all 10 members of Asean in his first year, he will host a gala Asean summit in Tokyo on 13 December that looks very much like an anti-China jamboree.

    He comprehensively outflanked Beijing during this month's typhoon emergency in the Philippines, sending troops, ships and generous amounts of aid, the biggest single overseas deployment of Japanese forces since 1945 – while China was widely criciticised for donating less financial aid that the Swedish furniture chain Ikea.

    Abe is also providing 10 coastguard vessels to the Philippines to help ward off Chinese incursions. Improved security and military-to-military co-operation with Australia and India form part of his plans.

    Officials insist, meanwhile, that the US relationship remains the bedrock of Japanese security. Taking full advantage of Barack Obama's so-called "pivot to Asia", Abe's government agreed a revised pact in October with the US secretary of state, John Kerry, and the defence secretary, Chuck Hagel, providing for a "more robust alliance and greater shared responsibilities".

    With a wary eye on China, the pact envisages enhanced co-operation in ballistic missile defence, arms development and sales, intelligence sharing, space and cyber warfare, joint military training and exercises, plus the introduction of advanced radar and drones. Japan is also expected to buy American advanced weapons systems such as the F35 fighter-bomber and two more Aegis-equipped missile defence destroyers.

    Washington is positively purring with pleasure over Abe's tougher stance. "The US welcomed Japan's determination to contribute proactively to regional and global peace and security," a joint statement said. The pact reflected "shared values of democracy, the rule of law, free and open markets and respect for human rights". But Abe's opponents fear the country is developing a new military mindset.

    What the Japanese public makes of what seems to amount overall to a landmark post-war shift in the scope and ambition of Japan's regional and global engagement is hard to gauge.

    China's disapproval ratings are a record high 94%, but a big majority (80%) of people polled also believe good bilateral relations are important. Many cling to the old pacifist verities but many others now understand the world around Japan is changing fast and unpredictably, said Kuni Miyake of Tokyo's Canon Institute for Global Studies.

    "Despite his conservative, hawkish image, Abe is in fact a very pragmatic, reasonable politician. But he is also proud of Japan and he is saying it's OK to be proud," Miyake said.

    "A huge power shift is going on in east Asia. Before Abe and the new era, we were day-dreaming. We thought we could follow pacifism, not threaten anybody, have no army, and the world would leave us alone. We were in a bubble. And it worked because of the US alliance, not because of pacifism.

    "The next generation doesn't believe that … People are aware that prayers for peace are not enough. We have to deter many potential aggressors. If China insists on being a Pacific power and challenges the US-Japan hegemony at sea, a showdown is inevitable," Miyake said.

    For Takahara, the opposite holds true. There were limits to what Japan could do when faced by China's rising power and Abe's approach was fraught with peril. "There is really no choice but to use diplomacy and dialogue to mend ties with China," Takahara said.

    "Abe is very rightwing by traditional measures. He is a historical revisionist at heart. He would really like to visit the Yasukuni shrine where Japan's war dead are remembered. He is a nationalist … But Abe won't succeed with his 'new nationalism'. We are a post-industrial society. There's no way the youngsters will go along."

    Is Shinzo Abe's 'new nationalism' a throwback to Japanese imperialism? | World news | theguardian.com
     
    LETHALFORCE likes this.
  2.  
  3. LETHALFORCE

    LETHALFORCE Moderator Moderator

    Joined:
    Feb 16, 2009
    Messages:
    20,553
    Likes Received:
    6,565
    Re: Is Shinzo Abe's 'new nationalism' a throwback to Japanese imperial

    If Abe does not create some sense of nationalism after three generations on a leash the
    Japanese will be eaten alive by china.
     
    mki, TrueSpirit1 and asianobserve like this.
  4. Ray

    Ray The Chairman Defence Professionals Moderator

    Joined:
    Apr 17, 2009
    Messages:
    43,117
    Likes Received:
    23,545
    Location:
    Somewhere
    Re: Is Shinzo Abe's 'new nationalism' a throwback to Japanese imperial

    China's foolhardy display of military might and hegemonic imperialism has activated an otherwise dormant, pacifist Japan.

    It is natural that Japan is concerned about China's imperialist pursuit and the flourishing of bogus maps to claim all and everything they see, including Okinawa.

    South Korea is not too pleased with this new militarism that is gripping Japan and for good reasons too. Yet, given the mindless imperialist pursuit of China and the notoriously erratic North Korea, backed by China, South Korea finds itself in an unenviable position. Further, South Korea's existence depends on US military support and the US is in no mood to give China any leeway, and instead support Japan to the hilt.

    South Korea cannot help but accept the US direction of events and that is why she defied China over the ADIZ and told China to take a running jump.

    Whatever be the case, thanks to China, the old Japanese militarism seem to be taking shape and that does no one any good.

    The Japanese are a very industrious and innovative race and if they move on a no holds barred approach, they will overtake China in defence preparedness - a preparedness that not only will China regret, but also maybe the world.

    Or it may come to pass the Japan is the real Star that Rises in the East and China takes a backseat.

    It is no secret that the US is trying to stitch a Strategic alliance of Nations around the periphery to contain China. Japan would prove to be the sentinel on which such an alliance is being built.

    China i digging its own grave because of its imperialist greed and not wanting to live in a state of peaceful coexistence, which she only spouts as pious platitudes in a meanly mouthed way!
     
    W.G.Ewald and LETHALFORCE like this.
  5. mattster

    mattster Respected Member Senior Member

    Joined:
    May 30, 2009
    Messages:
    1,048
    Likes Received:
    518
    Location:
    California
    Re: Is Shinzo Abe's 'new nationalism' a throwback to Japanese imperial

    The Chinese strategy is always the same - use some old lame excuse, or a border dispute, or some ancient made up historical bullshit as a pretense for grabbing territory, and changing the facts on the ground.

    They don't have the BALLS to declare war outright so they grab land inch-by-inch, and then try to hold on to it, and renegotiate from a position of strength.

    In fact - I blame bumbling India indirectly for this. Let me explain what I mean by this statement, before all you DFI readers jump on me.

    The Chinese strategy of grabbing land inch by inch is encouraged by the the success of this strategy against India. The Chinese intimidation tactic of "negiotiating and grabbing" at the same time and then renegotiating from a position of strength in a "heads I win, tail you lose" strategy is totally based on the success of this strategy against India on the North-east border.

    So now the Chinaman is asking himself a simple question - if it worked so well against India......Well then, why not try it again against the weak Philippines, or even against the subdued Japanese, and take advantage of the enormous guilt baggage that Japan has from its pacifist constitution because of WW-2.

    The difference off-course is that India has been ruled by mostly incompetent pseudo intellectuals who have let China build up a huge military lead in the last 50 years, and Indians are by nature a risk-averse, slow-moving culture. So the Chinaman has been able to run circles around the old Indian establishment run by a bunch of seventy year olds.

    Japan on the other hand is not the same case. The Japanese have always developed Dual use technologies just in case they ever need them in a hurry.
    The have also some of the best manufacturing technology in the world. So if they wanted to turn civilian rockets into ICBMs or civilian nuclear technology into nuclear weapons - it will happen in a hurry. The only thing holding them back is their history, pacifist constitution, US military cover and the need to do so.

    But if the Japanese ever felt that the US milatary cover was truly suspect - I think you would see the status quo start changing really fast.
     
    Last edited: Nov 29, 2013
    Tolaha, TrueSpirit1 and LETHALFORCE like this.
  6. no smoking

    no smoking Senior Member Senior Member

    Joined:
    Aug 14, 2009
    Messages:
    3,174
    Likes Received:
    423
    Re: Is Shinzo Abe's 'new nationalism' a throwback to Japanese imperial

    Of course because Indians say so!

    Of course, India expressed its desire for peace by carrying on the infamous "forward policy". And india was trying to negotiate from... Wait, India completely rejected any form of negotiation!

    Of course, India was innocent in any Sino-India conflict. The chinese is guilty of not bowing to Indian's condition. How dare China!

    Of course Chinese is wrong since curry eater say so!


    Oh, please, your stupidity is far beyond my imagination.

    A country which is still occupied and controlled by USA can have the gut to kick their master out?
    Japan will shit its pants if USA excludes Diaoyu islands out of their defence treaty tomorrow.
     
  7. mattster

    mattster Respected Member Senior Member

    Joined:
    May 30, 2009
    Messages:
    1,048
    Likes Received:
    518
    Location:
    California
    Re: Is Shinzo Abe's 'new nationalism' a throwback to Japanese imperial

    Dude.....china will never take the islands from Japan.

    You can't even take Taiwan which is sitting right in front of your freaking face.

    You can screw around with some weak countries like Philippines, India and Vietnam for some pieces of rock jutting up above the sea level and put on a "dog and pony show" for your local rabid nationalistic mass-media and population about what a great military power China is.

    But you're not going to f*** around with the US or Japan or Russia anytime soon.

    With India the stupid leadership of the past held the country back, but India has learnt their lesson and are catching up fast. In another 10 years the gap between India and China will be far less than it is today.
     
    Last edited: Nov 29, 2013
    TrueSpirit1 and LETHALFORCE like this.
  8. asianobserve

    asianobserve Elite Member Elite Member

    Joined:
    May 5, 2011
    Messages:
    7,308
    Likes Received:
    2,976
    Re: Is Shinzo Abe's 'new nationalism' a throwback to Japanese imperial


    You wish! China is the one scared of a remilitarized Japan! That's is why it is now desperately trying to ram through its intentions in the contested territories while Japan is not yet up to proper speed militari-wise. History will tell us that if the Japanese set their collective mind on to something they are a fearsome force to be reckoned with. Right now it is Japan that is the sleeping giant in Asia. Wake her up and China will be sorry (it seems that she is already waking up...).
     
    TrueSpirit1 likes this.
  9. LETHALFORCE

    LETHALFORCE Moderator Moderator

    Joined:
    Feb 16, 2009
    Messages:
    20,553
    Likes Received:
    6,565
    Re: Is Shinzo Abe's 'new nationalism' a throwback to Japanese imperial


    Japan is under USA's nuclear umbrella no need to rush to do anything.Japan also
    has one of the largest fissile material stockpiles in the world much larger than China
    Chinese are reaching new heights of stupidity in the arrogant claims.They will regret
    they ever started these bogus territorial claims and made enemies with so many countries.
    Chinese love to copy and think of themselves at USA's level but they are just another
    third world country.
     
    TrueSpirit1 likes this.
  10. nirranj

    nirranj Regular Member

    Joined:
    Jun 21, 2013
    Messages:
    910
    Likes Received:
    776
    Location:
    Bangalore
    Re: Is Shinzo Abe's 'new nationalism' a throwback to Japanese imperial

    India Can Supplement Man power to the Demogrphically weaker Japan and Japan Can Supplement Technology to technically Weaker India. Natural partnership. Also the recent Sabre rattling and the rising Anti Japanese (Rare Earth mineral embargo, Attacks on Japanese investments in China and Japanese products) sentiments in China offers India a Great opportunity. India Can lure off Japanese Investments frrom china and Can use the Japanese assistance to develop itself into a Manufacturing Giant.

    A Aggressive Japan is in India's Favor. And A Friend (A friend In Deed) in India is in Japan's Favor. and a Indo Japanese Alliance is in Asia's favor (counterbalance to China). And Whats in asia's favor is in the Worlds favor.
     
    LETHALFORCE and asianobserve like this.
  11. Virendra

    Virendra Moderator Moderator

    Joined:
    Oct 16, 2010
    Messages:
    4,674
    Likes Received:
    2,923
    Location:
    Delhi, India, India
    Re: Is Shinzo Abe's 'new nationalism' a throwback to Japanese imperial

    Japan needs manpower to fight wars with China. Can this policy deficient, inconsistent and stammering Indian State supplement for that? No way.
    We'll see how it fares out when the same defense shield is applied by China in SouthEast Asian Sea.
     
  12. Ray

    Ray The Chairman Defence Professionals Moderator

    Joined:
    Apr 17, 2009
    Messages:
    43,117
    Likes Received:
    23,545
    Location:
    Somewhere
    Re: Is Shinzo Abe's 'new nationalism' a throwback to Japanese imperial

    I have not read in great details as to how Imperial Japan could muster not only manpower but also equipment (given that they lack natural resources and manpower) to take on territories right upto India.

    Just as a passing thought, if they could do it then, can they do it now?

    You should see the film, 'Leters from Iwo Jima'

    Here is the trailor



    Further, if China is to be harnassed and trussed up, there will be too many helping hands around the periphery of China, most willing to assist and cut the hydrocelic problems that China is suffering from!
     
    Last edited by a moderator: May 10, 2015
    Decklander likes this.
  13. Decklander

    Decklander New Member

    Joined:
    Nov 19, 2012
    Messages:
    2,654
    Likes Received:
    4,044
    Location:
    New Delhi
    Re: Is Shinzo Abe's 'new nationalism' a throwback to Japanese imperial

    Chinese are fingering a sleeping giant.
     
  14. Ray

    Ray The Chairman Defence Professionals Moderator

    Joined:
    Apr 17, 2009
    Messages:
    43,117
    Likes Received:
    23,545
    Location:
    Somewhere
    Re: Is Shinzo Abe's 'new nationalism' a throwback to Japanese imperial

    Militarism is "the belief or desire of a government or people that a country should maintain a strong military capability and be prepared to use it aggressively to defend or promote national interests."[1][2] It may also imply the "glorification of the ideals of a professional military class" and the "predominance of the armed forces in the administration or policy of the state"[3] (see also: stratocracy and military junta).

    Japanese militarism (日本軍國主義 or 日本軍国主義 Nihon gunkoku shugi?) refers to the ideology in the Empire of Japan that militarism should dominate the political and social life of the nation, and that the strength of the military is equal to the strength of a nation.

    History of Japanese militarism

    Rise of militarism

    The military had a strong influence on Japanese society from the Meiji Restoration. Almost all leaders in Japanese society during the Meiji period (whether in the military, politics or business) were ex-samurai or descendants of samurai, and shared a set of values and outlooks. The early Meiji government viewed Japan as threatened by western imperialism, and one of the prime motivations for the Fukoku Kyohei policy was to strengthen Japan's economic and industrial foundations, so that a strong military could be built to defend Japan against outside powers.

    Domestic issues within early Meiji Japan also called for a strong military. The early Meiji government was threatened by internal revolts, such as the Saga Rebellion and Satsuma Rebellion, and numerous rural peasant uprisings.

    The rise of universal military conscription, introduced by Yamagata Aritomo in 1873, along with the proclamation of the Imperial Rescript to Soldiers and Sailors in 1882 enabled the military to indoctrinate thousands of men from various social backgrounds with military-patriotic values and the concept of unquestioning loyalty to the Emperor as the basis of the Japanese state (kokutai). Yamagata like many Japanese was strongly influenced by the recent striking success of Prussia in transforming itself from an agricultural state to a leading modern industrial and military power. He accepted Prussian political ideas, which favored military expansion abroad and authoritarian government at home. The Prussian model also devalued the notion of civilian control over the independent military, which omeant that in Japan, as in Germany, the military could develop into a state within a state, thus exercising greater influence on politics in general.[1]

    Following the German victory oin the Franco-Prussian War, the Army Staff College and the Japanese General Staff paid close attention to Major Jakob Meckel's views on the superiority of the German military model over the French system as the reason for German victory. In response to a Japanese request, Prussian Chief of Staff Helmuth von Moltke sent Meckel to Japan to become an O-yatoi gaikokujin.[2] In Japan, Meckel worked closely with future Prime Ministers General Katsura Tarō and General Yamagata Aritomo, and with army strategist General Kawakami Soroku. Meckel made numerous recommendations which were implemented, including reorganization of the command structure of the army into divisions and regiments, thus increasing mobility, strengthening the army logistics and transportation structure with the major army bases connected by railways, establishing artillery and engineering regiments as independent commands, and revising the universal conscription system to abolish virtually all exceptions. A bust of Meckel was sited in front of the Japanese Army Staff College from 1909 through 1945.[3]

    Although his period in Japan (1885–1888) was relatively short, Meckel had a tremendous impact on the development of the Japanese military. He is credited with having introduced Clausewitz's military theories[4] and the Prussian concept of war games (kriegspiel) in a process of refining tactics.[5] By training some sixty of the highest-ranking Japanese officers of the time in tactics, strategy and organization, he was able to replace the previous influences of the French advisors with his own philosophies. Meckel especially reinforced Hermann Roesler's ideal of subservience to the Emperor by teaching his pupils that Prussian military success was a consequence of the officer class's unswerving loyalty to their sovereign Emperor, as expressly codified in Articles XI-XIII of the Meiji Constitution.[6]

    The rise of political parties in the late Meiji period was coupled with the rise of secret and semi-secret patriotic societies, such as the Genyōsha (1881) and Kokuryukai (1901), which coupled political activities with paramilitary activities and military intelligence, and supported expansionism overseas as a solution to Japan's domestic issues.

    With a more aggressive foreign policy, and victory over China in the First Sino-Japanese War and over Russia in the Russo-Japanese War, Japan joined the imperialist powers. The need for a strong military to secure Japan's new overseas empire was strengthened by a sense that only through a strong military would Japan earn the respect of western nations, and thus revision of the unequal treaties.

    Growth of ultranationalism

    During the Taishō period, Japan saw a short period of democratic rule (the so-called "Taisho democracy"), and several diplomatic attempts were made to encourage peace, such as the Washington Naval Treaty and participation in the League of Nations. However, with the beginning of the Shōwa era, the apparent collapse of the world economic order with the Great Depression starting in 1929, coupled with the imposition of trade barriers by western nations and an increasing radicalism in Japanese politics including issues of domestic terrorist violence (including an assassination attempt on the emperor in 1932 and a number of attempted coups d'état by ultra-nationalist secret societies) led to a resurgence of so-called "jingoistic" patriotism, a weakening of democratic forces and a belief that the military could solve all threats both domestic and foreign. Patriotic education also strengthened the sense of a hakko ichiu, or a divine mission to unify Asia under Japanese rule.

    Those who continued to resist the "military solution" including nationalists with unquestionable patriotism, such as generals Jotaro Watanabe and Tetsuzan Nagata and ex-Foreign Minister Kijūrō Shidehara were driven from office or an active role in the government.

    A turning point came with the ratification of the London Naval Treaty of 1930. Prime Minister Osachi Hamaguchi and his Minseito party agreed to a treaty which would severely limit Japanese naval power. This treaty was strongly opposed by the military, who claimed that it would endanger national defense, and was portrayed by the opposition Rikken Seiyukai party as having been forced upon Japan by a hostile United States, which further inflamed growing anti-foreign sentiment.

    The Japanese system of party government finally met its demise with the May 15 Incident in 1932, when a group of junior naval officers and army cadets assassinated Prime Minister Inukai Tsuyoshi. Although the assassins were put on trial and sentenced to fifteen years' imprisonment, they were seen popularly as having acted out of patriotism and the atmosphere was set where the military was able to act with little restraint.

    Growth of military adventurism

    Japan had been involved in the Asian continent continuously from the First Sino-Japanese War, Boxer Rebellion, Russo-Japanese War, World War I and the Siberian Intervention. During the term of Prime Minister Tanaka Giichi from 1927 to 1929, Japan sent troops three times to China to obstruct Chiang Kai-shek's unification campaign. In June 1928, adventurist officers of the Kwantung Army embarked on unauthorized initiatives to protect Japanese interests in Manchuria, including the assassination of a former ally, warlord Zhang Zuolin, in hopes of sparking a general conflict.
    The Manchurian Incident of September 1931 did not fail, and it set the stage for the Japanese military takeover of all of Manchuria. Kwangtung Army conspirators blew up a few meters of South Manchurian Railway Company track near Mukden, blamed it on Chinese saboteurs, and used the event as an excuse to invade and seize the vast territory.

    In Tokyo one month later, in the Imperial Colors Incident, military figures failed in an attempt to establish a military dictatorship, but again the news was suppressed and the military perpetrators were not punished.

    In January 1932, Japanese forces attacked Shanghai in the First Shanghai Incident, waging a three-month undeclared war there before a truce was reached. The civilian government in Tokyo was powerless to prevent these military adventures, and instead of being condemned, the Kwangtung Army's actions enjoyed considerable popular support.

    Inukai's successors, military men chosen by Saionji Kinmochi, the last surviving genrō, recognized Manchukuo and generally approved the army's actions in securing Manchuria as an industrial base, an area for Japanese emigration, and a potential staging ground for war with the Soviet Union. Various army factions contended for power amid increasing suppression of dissent and more assassinations. In the February 26 Incident of 1936, the Army's elite First Infantry Division staged an attempted coup d'état in yet another effort to overthrow civilian rule. The revolt was put down by other military units, and its leaders were executed after secret trials. Despite public dismay over these events and the discredit they brought to numerous military figures, Japan's civilian leadership capitulated to the army's demands in the hope of ending domestic violence. Increases were seen in defense budgets, naval construction (Japan announced it would no longer accede to disarmament treaties), and patriotic indoctrination as Japan moved toward a wartime footing.[3]
    In November 1936, the Anti-Comintern Pact, an agreement to exchange information and collaborate in preventing communist activities, was signed by Japan and Germany (Italy joined a year later). War was launched against China with the Marco Polo Bridge Incident of July 7, 1937 in which a clash near Beijing between Chinese and Japanese troops quickly escalated into the full-scale warfare of the Second Sino-Japanese War, followed by the Soviet-Japanese Border Wars and the Pacific War.

    Despite the military's long tradition of independence from civilian control, its efforts at staging a coup d'état to overthrow the civilian government, and its forcing Japan into war through insubordination and military adventurism, the military was ultimately unable to force a military dictatorship on Japan.
    Under Prime Minister Konoe Fumimaro, the Japanese government was streamlined to meet war-time conditions and under the National Mobilization Law was given absolute power over the nation's assets. In 1940, all political parties were ordered to dissolve into the Imperial Rule Assistance Association, forming a single party state based on totalitarian values. Even so, there was much entrenched opposition from the government bureaucrats, and in the 1942 general election for the Japanese Diet, the military was still unable to do away with the last vestiges of party politics. This was partly due to the fact that the military itself was not a monolithic structure, but was rent internally with its own political factions. Even Japan's wartime Prime Minister, Hideki Tōjō, had difficulty controlling portions of his own military.

    Japan's overseas possessions, greatly extended as a result of early successes in the Pacific War were organized into a Greater East Asia Co-Prosperity Sphere, which was to have integrated Asia politically and economically—under Japanese leadership—against Western domination.

    Wiki

    ******************************************************************************

    If we check Japanese militarism & its rise historically, it sure does not leave anyone to be comfortable.

    China is only letting the genie out of the bottle.
     
  15. Singh

    Singh Phat Cat Administrator

    Joined:
    Feb 23, 2009
    Messages:
    20,305
    Likes Received:
    8,270
    Location:
    011
    Re: Is Shinzo Abe's 'new nationalism' a throwback to Japanese imperial

    Actually its not about China at all but about Japan itself.

    Very very briefly:

    Japan is fiscally dead. By creating a China threat they are trying to spur their countrymen to action.
     
  16. Ray

    Ray The Chairman Defence Professionals Moderator

    Joined:
    Apr 17, 2009
    Messages:
    43,117
    Likes Received:
    23,545
    Location:
    Somewhere
    Re: Is Shinzo Abe's 'new nationalism' a throwback to Japanese imperial

    India is fiscally not only dead, but on the way to the burial ground.

    Why is there no nationalism being whipped up?:peep:
     
    Virendra and nirranj like this.
  17. Singh

    Singh Phat Cat Administrator

    Joined:
    Feb 23, 2009
    Messages:
    20,305
    Likes Received:
    8,270
    Location:
    011
    Re: Is Shinzo Abe's 'new nationalism' a throwback to Japanese imperial

    Absolutely not. Hence.
     
  18. Ray

    Ray The Chairman Defence Professionals Moderator

    Joined:
    Apr 17, 2009
    Messages:
    43,117
    Likes Received:
    23,545
    Location:
    Somewhere
    Re: Is Shinzo Abe's 'new nationalism' a throwback to Japanese imperial

    You are a great optimist!
     
  19. asianobserve

    asianobserve Elite Member Elite Member

    Joined:
    May 5, 2011
    Messages:
    7,308
    Likes Received:
    2,976
    Re: Is Shinzo Abe's 'new nationalism' a throwback to Japanese imperial

    Japan needs a new sense of purpose, China is giving it to them. Welcome awakened Japan!
     
  20. LETHALFORCE

    LETHALFORCE Moderator Moderator

    Joined:
    Feb 16, 2009
    Messages:
    20,553
    Likes Received:
    6,565
    Re: Is Shinzo Abe's 'new nationalism' a throwback to Japanese imperial

    The adz proposed by china is an economic and military threat.
     
  21. Ray

    Ray The Chairman Defence Professionals Moderator

    Joined:
    Apr 17, 2009
    Messages:
    43,117
    Likes Received:
    23,545
    Location:
    Somewhere
    Re: Is Shinzo Abe's 'new nationalism' a throwback to Japanese imperial

    Though OT, Singh comments have got my curiosity up and yet, my doubt does not warrant a thread.

    Indeed Japan is not the economic giant it was. And may even be in an economic doldrums.

    So, how is it that the cost of living is still high in Japan, have high wages and they seem to be splurging?
     

Share This Page